Public Relations Manager

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum welcomes people from throughout the community and the world to find themselves and lose themselves in art, creativity, and culture. From its roots in Milwaukee’s first art gallery in 1888, the Museum has grown to be an icon for the city and a destination for the entire region and beyond.

Position Details

Public Relations Manager
Southeast Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

Currently, the Museum is seeking a Public Relations Manager to join a dynamic and highly collaborative team of marketing and communications professionals. This position will strategically amplify stories from across the institution to local, regional, national, and international audiences in order to drive interest and visitation.

The Public Relations Manager will spearhead media and community relationships, acting as the first line of communication with press outlets, the public, and promotional partners. Reporting to the Director of Sales and Marketing, this position works as a part of a cohesive marketing and communications team, in addition to working with colleagues throughout the Museum.


  • Develop and maintain an ongoing strategic communications timeline, to include deadlines for material development and dates for media announcements and partner communications
  • Write press releases, media alerts, and other material for exhibitions and Museum programs
  • Coordinate with other members of the communications team to ensure that announcement content and timing are coordinated with marketing, social media and other efforts
  • Serve as primary media contact for all press events and serve as Museum spokesperson when necessary
  • Build, improve, and maintain a centralized, indexed database of PR contacts
  • Cultivate strategic relationships, interest in the Museum’s ongoing program, and long-range coverage and partnership plans with media and tourism and hospitality partners
  • Update the Press Room on continually
  • Ensure institutional press kit materials (backgrounder, leadership bios, etc.) are current and reflect key institutional messaging
  • Pitch all relevant local, national, and international media on exhibitions, events, programs
  • Direct and execute tailored outreach to arts, business, travel, lifestyle, metro, and local publications to pitch timely institutional, exhibition, and program-specific stories
  • Handle and coordinate all press release distribution in coordination with education, curatorial, and community dialogue departments among others
  • Plan and execute press preview days for appropriate exhibitions and events in coordination with curatorial, security, operations and visitor services department
  • Create strategic and promotional PR initiatives for feature exhibitions and institutional milestones based on overall marketing plans
  • Build the profile of Museum leadership and curators through proactive relationship building and story placement.
  • Create briefing documents and/or conduct interview preparation for staff prior to their engagement with media
  • Assist in grant or sponsorship fulfillment and other contractual fulfillments related to press
  • Work with partners to coordinate strategic messages pitches to media (i.e., Kohl’s)
  • Attend community meetings and events as needed
  • Align earned media strategies with paid and owned channels to build cohesive messaging
  • Assist Director of Sales & Marketing with day-to-day administrative tasks and media relations needs as they arise
  • In collaboration with the Director of Sales & Marketing and senior leadership, help shape strategy and implementation for crisis communications as needed
  • Lead strategy regarding Museum reputation management and responses to crises that may arise, including development of talking points, PDQs, statements and strategy re: social media
  • Coordinate with the Museum’s national PR firm on materials, messaging, strategy and outreach
  • Maintain institution’s press clippings and regular press and reporting
  • Act as a backup to the Associate Content Writer to add press to the coordinated communications calendar
  • Receive Museum building (Calatrava) licensing and image rights requests. Work with Director of Sales & Marketing to vet companies and recommend pricing. Once determined, hand off to appropriate departments (i.e., rentals, security)
  • Receive Museum Center Park and Museum grounds usage requests and traffic to appropriate departments
  • Be on hand for on-site opportunities related to earned media
  • Attend Museum events within regular work hours and occasionally outside of regular work hours
  • Help determine and execute the Museum’s internal communications strategy


  • A minimum of 5 years of related experience. 
  • Must have excellent written communication skills and a working knowledge of AP style. 
  • Extensive experience writing, pitching, and communicating with media in proactive and reactive communications situations. 
  • Ability to initiate, execute, and manage cohesive communications campaigns as well as extend existing marketing plans into PR, communication, and partnership plans. 
  • Proficiency in Meltwater or another enterprise media monitoring tool. 
  • Working knowledge of social media platforms and audiences, especially related to public relations, crisis communications, and Museum reputation. 
  • Strong knowledge of local and regional media outlets and national art-related press. 
  • Equally comfortable working independently and in a collaborative team setting. 
  • Experience with crisis communications is a plus. 
  • Background in Art History is a plus. 
  • Previous museum or cultural institution experience preferred. 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license. 
  • Must be able to work on a computer, bend and reach, stand for long periods of time, lift heavy boxes of printed material up to 50lbs, speak on the telephone, navigate building and Museum Campus.

The Milwaukee Art Museum offers a competitive compensation package including Health and Dental benefits, Vision Plan, Flex/Dependent Spending Account, Health Spending Account, Group Term Life and Voluntary Life Insurance, Short Term Disability, Cancer Protection Assurance, Accident Only Insurance, Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance, Critical Care Protection, Long Term Disability, Retirement Plan, Vacation and Holidays, Parking Discount, Museum Membership and Museum Discounts.

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