TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) is a growing team of innovative thinkers committed to youth mental health. We partner with schools throughout Michigan and in a number of other settings nationwide, providing school staff with the training, materials, and implementation support they need to deliver effective mental health programming to their students. Our program was designed and developed by expert child mental health clinicians in collaboration with health and education researchers, educators, and school leaders. Our model was built specifically for the school setting, and is grounded in evidence-based cognitive behavioral and mindfulness practices. As we work to make effective mental health services available to all students, priority is given to schools that are under-resourced or that serve historically excluded populations. Our staff are dedicated to a vision of health and health care equity for all, and as TRAILS expands, we are seeking individuals who practice cultural humility, and who thrive in and contribute to an inclusive working environment.


The Communications Director oversees all aspects of external communications including media and public relations. Specific responsibilities for this position include creating and executing a communications plan to engage key audiences through broadening awareness of and increasing support for TRAILS, handling any public relations issues, and ensuring that information is in alignment with the overall strategy. The Communications Director oversees a small team of content and communication specialists tasked with promotion of TRAILS to a variety of audiences through all journalistic media channels. 


Communications outputs & deliverables (35%)

  • Create and manage communications and marketing content to be delivered through email, social media, website, and external news media, ensuring they are compelling, accurate and appropriate for the intended audience, and meet internal strategy and branding guidelines.
  • Develop and coordinate public relations activities, including PR campaigns in line with marketing plan, community engagement, and communications regarding latest developments, events and accomplishments. 
  • Manage presence at conferences and industry events.

Strategic outputs & deliverables (30%)

  • Establish and drive a multi-channel communications strategy, taking into account internal and external stakeholders and partners. 
  • Manage, execute and evaluate cost-effective communications and marketing campaigns that create awareness, strengthen existing partnerships and help create new partnerships.
  • Solicit and manage relationships with outside vendors, agencies and consultants on project-specific communications.
  • Oversee brand image by developing, implementing and enforcing brand guidelines, including monitoring and approving the use of our brand by external organizations and partners.

People and/or team management (10%)

  • Manage a team of content and communications specialists. Continually build and enhance communication, teamwork, professional development and core skills among the team.

Internal TRAILS collaboration (10%)

  • Collaborate with internal teams on a project-specific basis.
  • Collaborate with internal teams to identify candidates for potential program testimonials.
  • Utilize teamwide project management platforms (e.g., Airtable) to collaborate with all TRAILS staff on communications initiatives.
  • Contribute to the planning, implementation and evaluation of the long-term strategic business plan, including budgeting and resource management.

Team responsibilities (10%)

  • Attend all staff meetings and retreats, workgroups and other relevant TRAILS meetings as necessary
  • Support TRAILS team with all-hands-on-deck events as needed and other team initiatives

Media (5%)

  • Establish and manage media relations


Our experience suggests that the following types of professional experiences lend themselves to this work:

  • 5+ years professional experience in communications, marketing, public relations or related 
  • Experience working in a marketing and communications lead role
  • Proficiency with communications technologies
  • Crisis communications
  • Policy communications and/or government relations
  • Establishing media relations
  • Working with internal creative teams or outside agencies/consultants
  • Familiarity with social media platforms and social media marketing
  • Knowledge of content management systems
  • Productive working relationships with internal staff and administration, and external partners

Our experience suggests that the following types of skills lend themselves well to this work:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • A demonstrated ability to present with a clear and compelling voice to a variety of audiences
  • Strong organizational and leadership skills
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Competency in Microsoft Office and Google Suite


Our experience suggests the following certifications and degree(s) lend themselves well to this work:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, writing, journalism or related field
  • Master’s degree in communications, marketing, writing, journalism or related field
  • Applicable experience and competencies may be considered in lieu of formal education


The salary range for this role is $95,000 to $105,000. 

TRAILS offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision as well as a 403B with a safe harbor match and short and long term disability. We offer a generous holiday and paid time off package. 


Addressing inequities in access to evidence-based mental health care is intrinsic to the TRAILS mission. The intentionality behind this approach is woven into everything we do at TRAILS, resulting in a staff-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for all facets of our program. If this commitment is something to which you could positively contribute, we encourage you to apply, particularly if your voice represents a historically excluded perspective. 

TRAILS, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.


  • Our job descriptions reflect TRAILS’ assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing herein restricts management's right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time. 
  • We are only considering applicants who are legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Please note that all TRAILS employees are required to undergo a background check as performed by our fiscal sponsor, Tides Center. Findings do not automatically exclude candidates from the hiring process, but will be taken into consideration.
  • Successful applicants for this position must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. 

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