Public Relations Manager

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Through artistic excellence coupled with innovative, relevant programming; initiatives to connect with and grow new audiences; engagement with communities to ignite creativity across Chicago; and a modernized Opera House that is the setting for truly great experiences, Lyric is leading the advancement of opera. This collaborative vision will deliver ever more exciting, thought-provoking and inclusive audience and community experiences – while increasing the gravitational pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Position Details

Public Relations Manager
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

We are searching for a Public Relations Manager responsible for content creation and management, media relations, and public relations administration. Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Public Relations Manager will play a key role in communicating the company’s vision to the public in two major areas: content creation and media relations. This position is responsible for generating content across multiple platforms (blog, magazine, e-newsletter, program book, videos, etc.). This position also manages media relations for Lyric’s Learning and Creative Engagement division (Lyric Unlimited), The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, new initiatives, special projects, recitals, and the annual musical event. The Public Relations Manager is also responsible for managing critical administrative duties that assist with media monitoring, timely and accurate communication with the press, the company, and the general public.


Content Creation and Management

  • Write newsletter, performance programs, book articles, and blog posts, as assigned. 
  • Research and interview artists for video features, help oversee the distribution, use, and re-use of these assets with the communications team and assist with other new production activities, as assigned. 
  • Create web and brochure copy as needed. 
  • Edit and proofread print, electronic, and video materials as needed.

Media Relations

  • Supervise media relations for all Lyric Unlimited events, Lyric special events, original digital projects, the annual chamber opera, and the annual mainstage musical (writing press releases, identify and pitch stories, establish relationships with artists, and press partnerships.
  • Supervise photoshoots, interviews, build upon existing press lists, etc.). 
  • Supervise media relations for the Ryan Opera Center, the post-graduate professional artists training program at Lyric. 
  • Assist with Lyric’s mainstage opera season, as needed. 
  • Manage day to day relationships with third-party PR firms hired to assist with special and main stage projects (musicals, Lyric Unlimited and grand opera). 
  • Write press releases; manage internal circulation and electronic distribution of all releases. 
  • Assist with managing and training of PR interns. 
  • Assist in planning and staffing of media events.

Public Relations Administration

  • Manage press ticketing for events, including keeping season press ticketing spreadsheet, update records, and create orders in Tessitura. 
  • Build and maintain Lyric’s press lists. 
  • Maintain Lyric’s online press room. 
  • Staff the press table for select opening nights and other special events. 
  • Create and maintain season media calendar, including press release and pitch schedules. 
  • Participate in the creation and distribution of the company’s weekly roundup of online and print coverage of Lyric, other arts institutions, and general cultural news. 
  • Supervise the maintenance of comprehensive electronic media log. 
  • Select and distribute photo assets from individual operas and Lyric events. 
  • Respond to photo requests from media. 
  • Oversee data collection, as assigned, for monitoring press and media efforts efficacy and manage Lyric’s outside media monitoring service. 
  • Manage invitations and RSVPs for media events; maintain and update email press lists. 
  • As the business evolves, so may this role. These duties may change as Lyric’s leadership identified the need at any time.


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in English, journalism, communications, or equivalent experience. 
  • At least 3 years of solid communications experience, ideally with a nonprofit or cultural organization. 
  • Working knowledge of and comfort working with: Microsoft suite of products, CRM expertise (Tessitura a strong plus), Airtable, Slack and ProofHQ.
  • Outstanding communication skills, including the ability to speak to journalists and other members of the public with clarity and discretion. 
  • Excellent writing skills with the ability to tailor messages to diverse audiences. 
  • Working experience with the Chicago-area media market, particularly classical music, theater, and cultural outlets. 
  • Knowledge of classical music and opera. 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who also works well in a larger team.


  • Ability to occasionally oversee evening or weekend performances and special events. 
  • Sitting for extended periods. 
  • Ability to lift 30lbs. 
  • Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse and to handle other office equipment.

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