Communications and Outreach Intern

Experience Required: Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program
Salary Range: Undergraduate $13.00 per hour, Graduate $15.00 per hour

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is seeking to hire a full-time communications and outreach intern to assist with the publication, messaging, and distribution of agency materials and outreach support for CMAP’s next comprehensive regional plan. As our region’s official comprehensive planning organization, CMAP’s mission is to help communities prosper. The agency and its partners developed and are now implementing ON TO 2050, a new long-range plan to help the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues. See for more information.

Position Description

The Communications and Outreach Intern is responsible for helping to develop and manage CMAP content in a variety of print and electronic formats and assisting community outreach and engagement with CMAP partners, stakeholders, and constituents. Above all, the position requires excellent attention to detail that includes writing and editing skills, familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel, and some experience using social media and web content management systems. The ability to think critically and work independently is essential. Over the course of the internship, the intern will work on projects across a variety of policy and local governance issues. Prior employment experience is a plus. The candidate should be punctual in working the required hours and notify CMAP staff should there be any scheduling issues that necessitate absence or late arrival.

Essential Functions

  • Assist in writing, editing, and quality assurance of long-form reports, short-form policy briefs, and publicity materials.
  • Help develop and implement distribution strategies for various CMAP publications and reports via printed materials and other communications outlets (e-blasts, social media, direct media outreach, stakeholder engagement).
  • Generate short-form content for the CMAP website (, including assisting with CMAP’s Friday enewsletter, the Weekly Update, as well as writing social media content (for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube).
  • Assist with research as needed.
  • Help to prepare and distribute emails, press releases, and other news products.
  • Help to maintain and improve the media contacts database.
  • Help develop and implement outreach and engagement strategies for CMAP events, such as workshops, forums.
  • Assist with logistics for outreach events, both off-site and in CMAP’s offices.
  • Willingness to support, and at times participate, in presentations and workshops to a variety of audiences including CMAP committees and external partners.
  • Database management: Help maintain and expand community outreach database.
  •  Provide other assistance as needed to ensure effective external and internal communications and outreach for CMAP.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Communications and Outreach Intern must have excellent skills in writing and verbal communication. The position also requires a demonstrated ability to quickly understand and communicate complex policy issues. Familiarity with CMAP principles and ON TO 2050 is a plus.

Another primary requirement is acute attention to detail, including mastery of grammar and style necessary when writing for various public audiences. The Communications and Outreach Intern must be a quick learner — someone who is not afraid to ask questions and is willing to take on additional responsibilities and leadership. Strong time management and organizational skills are also necessary. The intern must have proficiency with web and content management software and systems. Familiarity with HTML and other web languages is a plus but not required.

Applicants should submit two to five writing samples from a wide range of formats (e.g., press releases, fact sheets, articles, reports, and other published works).

Education and Experience

Undergraduate applicants must be entering their junior or senior year in Fall 2019. B.A. degree in Journalism, Communications, English, Political Science, or other communications-intensive discipline recommended. Graduate applicants must be entering their first or second year in Fall 2019. M.A. degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, Urban Planning, Journalism, or Communications also encouraged. Prior work experience should include demonstrated excellence in writing and other communications in a team environment.

Office Automation Skills
Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, Power Point. Specialized Technology – Adobe Creative Suite, web content management.
Internship Timeframe
The internship will begin in Fall 2019 through Spring 2020. Minor start and end-date accommodations may be made upon request.
Contact Information
Please submit cover letter and resume via our website at Please refer to Job Code (COM819).
Posting End Date
This posting will close on September 7, 2019 at 5:00pm CST.