Full Time - Upper Management Level (Managing Editor, General Manager, Manager, Director)
LION Publishers is looking for a senior leader who deeply understands the needs of current and aspiring independent news organizations, wants to ensure those needs are being addressed by LION’s membership offerings, and can communicate those needs to external stakeholders through research and data that ultimately helps inform our strategy for strengthening the independent news industry.
Over the past two years, LION Publishers has grown into a $3 million journalism association with over 250 members and a staff that’s tripled from three to nine. We’ve launched a suite of programs, including the Google News Initiative Startups Boot Camp, Startups Lab, and the Tiny News Collective, to help existing entrepreneurs become sustainable and aspiring entrepreneurs launch news businesses.
As an association, our strength and future growth is based on how well we continue to understand and serve the needs of the growing independent news industry. That’s why we’re searching for our first-ever Director of Membership and Research to help design and lead this work.
Here’s what we anticipate your responsibilities to be:
Lead membership growth and retention strategy
In collaboration with communications manager, design a marketing strategy to attract new LION members
In collaboration with the membership programming manager and others across LION teams, explore opportunities to create new LION member benefits
Ensure day to day operations of membership internal workflows, processes and team communication run smoothly and make adjustments as needed
Propose updated membership levels and criteria as members’ needs change and LION grows
Ensure that LION’s team understands existing and potential member needs and is adjusting and updating its membership offerings to ensure long-term value and membership retention
Build on and expand research about the independent news industry
Identify information and research needs across the independent news industry and assess LION’s ability to meet those needs through existing datasets and new research projects
In collaboration with the product manager, oversee the continuation of Project Oasis and produce regular data-informed research reports on the independent news industry that helps inform LION and other industry support organizations’ offerings
In collaboration with the membership and research team, oversee the analysis of membership data to inform LION’s work and to tell the story of LION’s membership to external stakeholders
Oversee communications and marketing across all platforms
Collaborate with the communications manager to ensure communication across all platforms for members and external stakeholders reflects our organizational values
Offer data-informed insights for LION-created content, including members to profile, industry trends to highlight and resources to aggregate
Serve as a key collaborator and adviser on other work across LION
Collaborate with deputy director to pitch potential partners and sponsors to provide member benefits and funds for additional research
Collaborate with the director of teaching and learning to ensure members’ needs are being met through membership teaching and learning programming
Oversee and advise the membership programming manager on the LION Awards
These are some of the key skills and competencies we’re looking for in our ideal candidate. We know that not all candidates will have all the skills and experience we’ve listed, and that’s okay. We encourage you to apply and tell us what you bring to the table.
Existing knowledge about independent news startups: At least 3 years experience of having led, worked in or with independent news startups so you can demonstrate a deep knowledge or curiosity of the independent news ecosystem, common opportunities and challenges for aspiring and existing news founders and startups, and strong hypotheses on how to best offer them support.
Experience with data-based storytelling: You understand how to look at qualitative and quantitative data to identify trends and opportunities that communicate an inspirational vision for the future of the independent news industry
Demonstrated expertise marketing and membership growth tactics: Can think strategically about the best ways to identify, recruit and build trust with potential LION members, particularly those from historically underrepresented backgrounds
Detailed, systems-oriented thinker: Can work across multiple disciplines (i.e. membership, communications and tech/systems) to identify a strategic center that supports the team in its tactical day-to-day work
Value collaboration and working with a highly collaborative team: You must communicate clearly and work effectively with LION colleagues to execute on work in a timely manner that ensures all the best ideas have been heard and implemented.
You’ll be managing a team of three (our communications manager, product manager and membership programming manager); working closely with our director of teaching and learning and director of finance and operations; and reporting to the deputy director.