Public Relations Manager

Wisconsin Historical Foundation, Inc.

Who We Are:

The Wisconsin Historical Foundation exists to support the Wisconsin Historical Society and further its mission of collecting, preserving, and sharing history. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, the Foundation receives grants and private contributions benefiting the Society, administers the membership program, and provides marketing and communications services for the Society.

Position Details

Public Relations Manager
Southwest Wisconsin
Madison, WI


The Public Relations Manager is part of a team of communications, annual giving, marketing, and PR professionals charged with increasing public awareness of the Wisconsin Historical Society, including our collections and archives, programming and resources, historic sites and attractions, and internal areas of expertise. This team supports the growth of contributed and earned revenue to further the Society’s mission and establish national recognition for the organization.

The Public Relations Manager is an experienced PR professional, motivated relationship-builder and compelling storyteller that supports our organizational mission, protects our reputation, and amplifies our brand locally, regionally and nationally. This role is responsible for PR strategy and execution, media relationship growth and management, and results reporting that delivers on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s short and long-term goals. Other responsibilities include media training, reputation monitoring and execution of crisis communication plans, thought leadership positioning and public affairs initiatives, and serving as a spokesperson as necessary. The Public Relations Manager is a supervisory position with direct report(s).

This position requires a hybrid schedule that will require a combination of weekly in-person attendance at our Madison, Wisconsin headquarters and remote work.

Public Relations Management & Execution 

  • Develop and lead the execution of annual and project-based PR plans that demonstrate direct impact to organizational and programmatic goals. 
  • Facilitate proactive media outreach with a focus on building productive, strategic relationships and securing quality editorial coverage across a range of media and online channels including press, podcasts, blogs and influencers. 
  • Develop and proactively oversee an annual media outreach editorial calendar that enhances organizational positioning and contributes to goal attainment. 
  • Build productive relationships throughout the organization to identify compelling story ideas and experts, and to facilitate efficient and timely media responses. 
  • Media train subject matter experts and facilitate talking point development to ensure the Society brand and its representatives are positively positioned in an increasing number of strategic media and thought leadership opportunities. 
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for media inquiries and distribute official statements on behalf of the organization as necessary. 
  • Manage the development and distribution of news releases, media alerts, position statements, and related supporting content. 
  • Manage the planning, execution and analysis of media tours, events and/or press conferences. 
  • Manage the tracking and analysis of media efforts, leveraging our media tracking software to ensure we are optimizing the benefits of the platform; provide monthly outreach and coverage reports aligned with KPIs and organizational goals. 
  • Monitor industry news; analyze news trends and identify opportunities for growing awareness of and national credibility for the Wisconsin Historical Society mission and brand. Participate in reputation management and crisis communication monitoring, planning and response. 

Content Collaboration

  • Contribute to the development of a comprehensive, strategic annual content plan that supports a wide variety of integrated marketing communications initiatives. 
  • Collaborate across the department and organization to leverage points of integration across campaigns and to ensure messaging and activities are unified. 
  • Proactively gather supporting information as needed to effectively tell complete and compelling stories. 
  • Routinely bring new ideas and fresh concepts to overall content strategy. 


  • Hires, trains and oversees the schedules and work of Communications Coordinator(s).
  • Provides mentorship to junior staff.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing or related field. 
  • 5+ years of experience in public/media relations; agency experience a plus. 
  • 2+ years supervising direct reports. 
  • Excellent grammar, writing, editing and proofreading skills, including expert knowledge of AP style. 
  • Proven ability to develop strategic media relationships, build targeted media lists and secure editorial coverage locally, regionally and nationally across a variety of channels. 
  • Experience in training internal subject matter experts to serve as media spokespersons.
  • Strong interviewing/information gathering skills. 
  • Aptitude for cultivating internal resources, proactively seeking out compelling stories from across the enterprise and packaging/pitching to achieve desired results. 
  • Experience developing public relations campaigns across earned and owned media.
  • Familiarity with influencer marketing helpful. 
  • Working knowledge of reputation management and crisis communications principles.
  • Expertise in using media relations software to develop media databases and reports. 
  • Clear understanding of public relations metrics; ability to analyze and extrapolate data in a meaningful way. 
  • Understanding of content best practices for digital channels. 
  • Experience creating or contributing to multi-channel content strategies. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented; strong planning, execution and time management skills. 
  • Ability to work independently or collaboratively as assignments require. 
  • Ability to proactively prioritize and carry out competing projects under tight deadlines.
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). 
  • This position requires a hybrid schedule that will require a combination of weekly in-person attendance at our Madison, Wisconsin headquarters and remote work.

This is a full-time position with an excellent benefits package that includes health insurance, vision and dental insurance, 401(k), vacation and sick time, paid holidays, and an annual incentive compensation plan. Pay will be dependent upon qualifications and experience.

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