Director, Social Marketing & Public Relations

Chicago Botanic Garden

We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.

The Chicago Botanic Garden opened more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. In 2017, more than one million people visited the Garden's 27 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres on and around nine islands, with six miles of lake shoreline. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection.

The Chicago Botanic Garden has 50,000 members—one of the largest memberships of any U.S. botanic garden. People of all ages, interests, and abilities participate in programs, take classes, and stroll the grounds year-round. Within the nine laboratories of the Garden's Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, scientists and graduate students conduct a wide array of plant research. The Garden is one of only 17 public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. Its Lenhardt Library contains 150,000 volumes—including one of the nation's best collections of rare botanical books.

Position Details

Director, Social Marketing & Public Relations
Northern Illinois
Glencoe, IL


The director, Social Marketing and Public Relations, is a marketing enthusiast who can strategize and guide the development of both long-term and in-the-moment social media and public relations strategies for the Garden across platforms. This passionate, digitally savvy marketer will lead and oversee the Garden’s earned and shared media initiatives.

Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role, you will be responsible for the following:

  • Lead and oversee integrated social media and public relations campaigns aligned with Garden’s goals and initiatives. 
  • Manage and develop social marketing specialist and public relations manager. 
  • Cultivate and enhance collaborative working relationships within the press and media community, increasing audience awareness. 
  • Secure strategic media placement building corporate reputation and business goals. 
  • Oversee Garden social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. 
  • Design and continually evolve social media, public relations, and influencer strategy to drive revenue, brand awareness, and audience engagement. 
  • Expand the Garden's social media reach, driving greater relevance and engagement, and maintaining favorable audience sentiment. 
  • Oversee social media and public relations’ reporting to key stakeholders; articulate insights, trends, and key learning. 
  • Oversee community management, being the voice of the Garden and escalating opportunities for thought leadership, engagement, and crisis management to appropriate people. 
  • Identify new social media outlets, PR channels, and innovative ideas that could benefit the Garden.

Key Garden Competencies/Behaviors Desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels. 
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances. 
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view. 
  • Strives for collaboration. 
  • Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team. 
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions. 
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility. 
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude. 
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement. 
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis. 
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions. 
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position. 
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors. 
  • Is welcoming of new hires.


Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Ten years of public relations and communications experience, with five years’ experience demonstrating leadership across all current social media platforms 
  • Agency and/or in-house experience preferred 
  • Must demonstrate tangible success in public relations and social media, generating strategic, positive media, influencer coverage, and community engagement that drove growth 
  • Demonstrated success building a strong social media marketing strategy using social media and SEO 
  • Knowledge and demonstration of developing content that works best on each social media platform 
  • Currently established relationships with and experience gaining coverage from major regional and national media outlets 
  • Self-motivated and resourceful with the ability to independently manage projects and lead a team 
  • B.A. in public relations, communications, marketing, journalism, or related field; M.A./M.B.A preferred

Physical Demands:

Office setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines.

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