Erika Hobbs

Editor, digital content producer and strategist, journalist
Patch, WBBM Newsradio, self (freelance)

I am a storyteller, strategist and architect of digital newsrooms. I create content, plans and policies that cultivate audiences and drive results. I help nonprofits develop clear, effective visions and missions, and build organizational foundations that make those visions and missions flourish. I mentor young writers as well as teenage girls who live in poverty. I am passionate about storytelling, new tools to deliver news and stories, nonprofit journalism, media and media research, digital storytelling and strategy, women in media, education reporting, social justice, a free press, and youth in poverty.

What I can bring to a board

My background is in journalism and communications, so what I can offer is the ability to help organizations research and craft vision and mission statements, as well as messaging and content. I can coach or advise about digital analytics and how to use them to develop effective strategy and build audiences. I can also teach or advise on practical aspects of communications-related jobs: strong, effective writing, developing editorial calendars. etc. From a journalism perspective, I bring 25 years of experience in the field, and from that can contribute to ideas and plans about ethics, growth, evolution of news, First Amendment issues, funding models and quality news. I can inform curriculum on the above, as well. Further, I am a news literacy expert and can advise on the “fake news” phenomenon and how to counter it. I have built a communications department and digital newsroom where one did not exist and know what it takes to get the job done. I worked for a start-up nonprofit and learned the ropes of building a functioning organization and can draw from that experience. I have grant writing experience through them. I belong to a church that serves a deeply impoverished population. We are redeveloping as a congregation and as a nonprofit (in several ways that may include spinning off a ministry into a nonprofit) and I have led the church through this process. As a result, I have deep experience in building teams, strategy, budgets and protocol, as well as grant-writing experience. I have connections to other charitable organizations that serve the poor, hungry and the oppressed through them. This is also where I mentor young women. I have a deep commitment to mentoring girls and to working to fight poverty, in part because I grew up in it. I may need to take care in selecting an organization because of ethical conflicts with my reporting job, but I will be mindful about that. I plan to be very hands-on in this role and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.

What can I get from a board?

In no particular order: I am looking to grow as a leader, a thinker and as a volunteer. I am interested in developing new skills sets, including asking for money, which is hard for me because I am a journalist. I am eager to dive deep into a cause I care about and to care about it deeper than I have before. I am looking to share ideas with and be energized by other talented and driven people who hold similar interests.

My skills

    • communications strategy
    • newsletter writing
    • digital strategy
    • analytics
    • research
    • grant writing
    • vision- and mission-development
    • content development
    • public speaking
    • organizational development
    • messaging