Business and Circulation Manager at POETRY

February 11, 2022
Chicago, IL

The Poetry Foundation is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. The Foundation is publisher of Poetry magazine, one of the nation’s oldest journals dedicated to poetry. In addition, the Foundation works to create a receptive climate for poetry by presenting programs, developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, awarding prizes and fellowships to poets and encouraging new styles of poetry. 

The Objectives You Will Meet

The Business and Circulation Manager will have two major areas of responsibility: 1) oversee the business aspects of Poetry magazine, including advertising sales in the print magazine, inventory, and certain budgets; 2) oversee the magazine’s circulation and fulfillment, including customer service. This position will work with the Poetry Foundation’s finance team and marketing team to ensure smooth business operations and promotions strategy. This position will ensure that the magazine’s business, marketing, and circulation functions fulfill our goals of reaching the widest possible audience and supporting poets, readers, and our community. 

  • Reporting relationships:
    • Reports directly to the Editor of Poetry 
  • Direct Report:
    • Business and Production Assistant (to be hired after this role is filled). Will be responsible for overseeing the recruitment process. 
  • Manages relationship(s) with external vendor partners:
    • Sterner Associates (contractors) 

How You Will Meet These Objectives

  • Business and Advertising
    • Oversee magazine advertisement sales including reservation, placement, and billing (monthly); coordinate with Finance Associate to maintain advertising payment records;
    • In concert with magazine editors and the Finance Associateprepare the annual departmental budget, oversee spending, and provide quarterly operating updates;
    • Oversee, with Sterner Associates, list rental revenue and costs
    • Coordinate logistics for magazine and Foundation presence at book fairs, conferences, and literary events with magazine marketing team;
    • Oversee, with Business and Production Assistant, magazine inventory (in-house and off-site storage)
    • Regularly review that magazine pay rates are in line with other department rates and match (or exceed) the rest of the writing field
    • Liaise with finance team on issues related to magazine business, including credit card issues, revenue, fulfillment costs, and any pricing increases 
  • Circulation and Fulfillment
    • Review monthly print orders from fulfillment company, newsstand distributors, contributors, and the Poetry Foundation office, as created by Sterner Associates; review monthly master print order to Sheridan (created by Sterner Associates);
    • Review and execute monthly invoices from fulfillment house, printer, and postal service
    • Oversee Business and Production Assistant’s work as office liaison to fulfillment company in all matters of customer service, including subscription and single copy sales issues, as it relates to magazine business and fulfillment (editorial team can assist when issues are related to editorial queries);
    • Coordinate bi-annual visit to fulfillment headquarters for quality control review of fulfillment operations with account management and department representatives; oversee/review information session with customer service associates to ensure quality control and brand messaging;
    • With Vice President of Finance & Administration, negotiate with fulfillment company and printer on contracts and pricing matters
    • Work with marketing team on strategy for magazine-related mailing lists for in-house promotional use;
    • Oversee tracking monthly circulation with detail required by United States Postal Service;
    • Ensure that postal permits are up-to-date and deposits are kept in business reply account.
    • Coordinate with the marketing and creative teams on annual holiday gift campaigns, direct marketing campaigns, and all reporting data on magazine promotions, which are overseen and executed by the VP of Marketing;
    • Review weekly and monthly reporting data from fulfillment company (including sales, cancels, credit card reports), which is created by Sterner Associates; create and distribute circulation reports (detail and summary) to editorial, marketing, and finance teams (based on analysis given by Sterner Associates); review monthly promotion report and add any insights/questions
    • Review opportunities for improvement in magazine business and strategies to increase productivity and cost-effectiveness (in consult with Sterner Associates);
    • Oversee, with Sterner Associates, newsstand distribution, including whether to bring on new distributors and how to improve efficiency and reach.
    • Review, with Sterner Associates, cancelation rates, renewal rates, and credit card reports, including year over year comparisons and get explanations as needed from relevant vendors
    • Learn, with Sterner Associates, fulfillment system web-based tools in order to look up relevant data, post files, and handle other fulfillment needs
    • Prepare monthly and quarterly reports on circulation and subscription levels

Who You Are

At the Poetry Foundation, we welcome and embrace a host of different backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches to work. We also understand the importance of being transparent in our expectations. We do not expect candidates to “check-the-box” on all the below.

A well-matched candidate will bring:
- Experience working with contracts, invoices, and ad sales
- Solid data analysis capabilities to write reports and ask relevant questions
- Close attention to detail and willingness to express concerns
- Creative and proactive approach to achieving goals and reaching new audiences
- A collaborative mindset in solving problems and creating new initiatives
- Demonstrated ability to think critically and work independently
- Eagerness to learn new terms and software
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences
- Proficiency with Google and Microsoft Office Suites (Word, Excel) 

How We Invest in You

  • Compensation: We offer a competitive compensation range of $91,000 - $101,500

 The provisions of the benefit plan are subject to change.

  • Health Insurance: Medical, Dental, Vision, and Prescription drug insurance are available to full-time employees. The Foundation pays 100% of employee premiums.
  • Retirement Plan: After one year of service and 1,000 hours worked, the Foundation will contribute 10% of the employee’s regular salary to the employee’s retirement plan account, and the employee must contribute 5% of their regular salary. All employees may contribute non-matched pre-tax earnings at any time.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy (full-time employees, 35+ hours/week): All full-time employees are eligible for two weeks of vacation and six personal/sick days. Those employees with management responsibilities are eligible for three weeks of vacation. Additionally, the Foundation is closed for nine holidays per calendar year.
  • Paid Sick Leave Policy (part-time employees, under 30 hours/week): Part-time employees are eligible to earn paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour per 30 hours worked. Sick time can be used for a variety of personal and family health needs.
  • FSA Benefits: Full-time employees have the opportunity to set aside pre-tax dollars for a Healthcare FSA, Dependent Care, Transit Expense, and Parking Expenses. (Transit Expense elections are also available to part-time employees.)
  • Technology: All employees are provided with the hardware needed to perform their duties. This includes a laptop and accessories.
  • Perks: All employees receive a complimentary subscription to Poetry magazine and special borrowing privileges from the non-circulating library collection. 

Equal Opportunity: The Poetry Foundation values the perspectives and talents of a diverse staff and is committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and employs personnel without regard to race, color, age, pregnancy, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, veteran status, marital status, disability, or any other bases protected by law. 

Physical Requirements and Work Environment: 

  • Remaining in a stationary position, often sitting for prolonged periods in an indoor office environment.
  • Must be able to navigate throughout various offices of the building
  • Communicating with others to exchange information and perform duties
  • Ability to read materials on a computer screen
  • Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers
  • Moderate noise level consistent with an office environment 

More About the Poetry Foundation 

The Poetry Foundation pursues its mission to celebrate and share the best poetry with the largest audiences through a family of programs. Learn more about the organization here.

Commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity

The Poetry Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type with regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Land Acknowledgement

The Poetry Foundation building is situated on the occupied original homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: The Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odowa Nations, among other Indigenous nations. Indigenous people continue to live here today, and Chicago is home to one of the largest urban Indigenous communities in the United States. We recognize that some of us are settlers on colonized land and that this land acknowledgment is one small part of disrupting and dismantling the colonial structures in which we are living.

Vaccination Expectation

The Poetry Foundation requires all employees to be fully vaccinated (including booster shots) against COVID-19 to ensure our own safety and the safety of our guests, partners, and patrons. All employees must complete an attestation and provide proof of their vaccination status or request a medical or religious exemption within the first week of employment.

For more information, or to apply, click here.