January 10, 2020

Digital Media Specialist

The Heartland Institute
January 10, 2020
Virtual Office or Arlington Heights, IL
Job Type


Digital Media Specialist
The Heartland Institute
Arlington Heights, IL or Virtual Office


About the Organization

The Heartland Institute, founded in 1984, is a free-market think tank that focuses on discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Heartland’s main outreach is to local and state elected officials, but the Communications Department focuses attention on raising Heartland’s profile by getting its experts into online and print media, talk radio and television shows, the production and promotion of podcasts (5 million downloads in 2019), and through executing an aggressive promotion campaign on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and via our YouTube channel (which has 27,000 subscribers).

Heartland also produces a large volume of publications:

  • Three monthly public policy newspapers: Health Care News, Budget & Tax News, and Environment & Climate News. Some 100,000 copies are distributed each month. Most circulation is complimentary. All articles are also published on Heartland’s website.
  • Heartland also publishes The Heartlander, a quarterly newsletter highlighting Heartland’s latest accomplishments for the organization’s 4,000-plus donors and supporters.
  • Heartland also frequently publishes books, booklets, and policy studies on a wide range of public policy issues. The PR department is responsible for getting those publications into the news cycle and the public sphere.

About the Opening

Our new position of Digital Media Specialist is the perfect position for a digital native ready to take the next step of professional growth in the liberty movement. This new team member will spend most of their time creating and executing a strategy to expand Heartland’s presence on social media, which currently includes accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The successful candidate will have a track record of using compelling social-media content that will demonstrate their ability to drive awareness of, and engagement with, The Heartland Institute’s work. This candidate will be adept at managing interactions with online users with a cool head and steady hand. Bomb-throwers and troll-feeders need not apply. Nor, however, should they be mealy-mouthed or philosophically unsure.

This position requires someone who is not just comfortable with but passionate about promoting liberty and Heartland’s core mission of promoting “climate realism,” education choice, lower and fewer taxes, market-driven health care reform, the rights of those who use vaping products and tobacco, and opposing the rise of socialism in America. The legacy media calls Heartland’s stances on public policy “controversial,” and the organization’s positions on climate and tobacco have us under constant attack by the professional activist left. The Digital Media Specialist must have a thick skin and the confidence to carry on – and even parry back – with skill, grace, maturity, and professionalism.

The job will also entail, to a lesser degree, participation in the content Heartland’s team produces – such as podcasts and videos – as well as working on the back end of our websites (SiteExecutive and WordPress), and helping the Communications team execute public events.

This position is located at The Heartland Institute’s building in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The ideal candidate would be located in Illinois so they can work closely with the team, in the office. For exceptional candidates, however, working virtually will be an option.

Key Responsibilities

  • This role will be 80% focused on social media management
  • Develop a new social-media strategy across multiple platforms, including: an audit of current strengths and weaknesses; a plan for increasing audience and engagement, particularly among younger users; metrics for evaluating effectiveness;
  • Create timely online content to convey Heartland’s policy proposals and principles
  • Post regularly and effectively across multiple social-media platforms
  • Manage online engagements, including those with the hostile or contrarian users
  • Safeguard Heartland’s reputation for non-partisanship, attention to detail and factual accuracy, and avoidance of personal/ad hominem attacks
  • Update, on occasion, Heartland’s websites promptly and creatively with new content created by the team
  • Participate in discussions about video production, especially video subjects and styles appealing to young people
  • Produce simple but attractive visuals, including infographics, that are well-suited for posting and sharing on social media platforms
  • Coordinate as needed with Heartland’s development efforts

Personal Skills and Qualifications:

  • Passion for limited government, free enterprise and personal liberty – as well as an opponent of climate alarmism and socialism, and a supporter of school choice
  • Self-propelled motor
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and an eye for compelling visuals
  • Results-oriented approach to setting priorities and managing time
  • Rapid response to current events or organizational needs
  • Near-obsession with details and accuracy
  • Cheerful disposition, particularly in online interactions
  • Desire to work flexibly, learn constantly and serve enthusiastically on a team
  • Aversion to leaving tasks incomplete

Professional Skills and Qualifications:

  • At least 2-3 years of experience, with an emphasis on social-media management for an organization (internships may be considered experience)
  • Travel will be very limited if this candidate works in the office; for a virtual candidate, some travel to the office will be expected
  • Demonstrated success with past social-media campaigns
  • Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, or other image-editing programs; various social-media management platforms (e.g., Hootsuite, TweetDeck), WordPress and the ability to learn new programs quickly
  • For the remote candidate: this person would need to be in the office for a first initial week of training, and be able to get to the office periodically (~every 6 weeks) to reconnect with the team personally.

Application Instructions

To apply, qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in the position and salary requirements
  • Writing Sample: the ideal writing sample will be 3-5 pages in length and relevant to Heartland’s work; otherwise, any 3-5 page writing sample you’d like to provide is sufficient 
  • 1-3 examples of your social media work; links to successful posts encouraged

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: https://talentmarket.org/candidates/apply-for-your-dream-job/.

Questions can be directed to Katy Ranville, Network Engagement Manager at Talent Market,

who is assisting with the search: [email protected].

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.

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