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About Us

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.railstotrails.org. Connect with RTC @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Job Summary

The Communications Associate is a full-time position that will support the day-to-day functions of RTC’s Communications Department, which contributes to the organization’s mission by: raising the visibility of the organization and the value of trails as essential community assets, engaging diverse audiences to use and support trails, and elevating the organization’s brand awareness across audiences and platforms.

RTC’s Communications Department tells the story of the nation’s trails, walking and bicycling movement—inspiring activism, encouraging policy change and motivating people to be active outside on America’s trails. Through social media (@railstotrails), online engagement (railstotrails.org), our quarterly magazine (railstotrails.org/magazine), news media and events, we engage with RTC’s diverse audiences, including trail enthusiasts and those discovering the joy of trails for the first time, lawmakers, trail builders and partners nationwide.

RTC manages a comprehensive portfolio of communications activities, including public engagement campaigns, publications, web content, video content, email advocacy campaigns, earned media and media relations, shared media and paid media. This position will support the functions of the entire department, with an emphasis: on providing content and analytics that expand the organization’s reach; and engagement of and conversion among target audiences as defined by, and in support of, the organization’s communications strategy. In addition, this position will support correspondence with partners, field offices and programmatic staff across the organization.

This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with an analytical and process-driven mindset who excels in an adaptable environment and has a passion for trails and the outdoors. This position reports to the Social Media and Engagement Strategist and will work closely with the Communications Director.

Job Location

This position is located in our Washington, D.C., National Headquarters and is eligible for a hybrid work schedule in accordance with RTC’s policies. Proof of vaccination is required for all staff.

Job Duties

Projects and General Support

  • Support Communications Department with the implementation of projects, events and campaigns, including developing and managing project workplans and intake processes, managing and fulfilling event and marketing materials, liaising with partners and staff across the organization around project needs and priorities, organizing logistics and meeting minutes for the quarterly RTC board meetings, organizing logistics and event details for internal RTC events, and other tasks as defined.
  • Manage inbound correspondence to RTC’s communications email boxes, including the media inbox, magazine and events.
  • Develop and proofread content for use across RTC’s communications channels, including website and blog, marketing collateral, newsletters, social media, media and partner toolkits. Support the production of Spanish translation content as needed.
  • Contribute to the implementation of RTC’s social media strategy and management, including generating compelling content for RTC’s social media channels.
  • Contribute to the development of processes and tools to support customer service and campaign management.
  • Represent the organization at select events and activities, including tabling; duties include but are not limited to assisting with preparation, interviewing and capturing photos and videos for social media.

Analytics and Engagement

  • Monitor media coverage about RTC and priority initiatives, and identify relevant trends (e.g., managing press clips in RTC’s Cision database, reporter research, media analyses on key topics, etc.).
  • Monitor and share insights that inform RTC’s understanding about trends, message points and best practices to engage target audiences on social media.
  • Help foster and grow RTC’s social media community by engaging with current and prospective audiences, responding to inquiries, following and being a part of relevant conversations, and identifying and liaising with influencers and ambassadors.
  • Assist in the production and presentation of campaign metrics, working within the department to gather analytics across platforms and synthesizing data into key observations and recommendations.

Supervisory Responsibilities

The role does not have any supervisory responsibilities.

Basic Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate possesses the following skills and qualifications:

  • Minimum one year of relevant professional experience and/or an undergraduate degree in marketing analytics, marketing, communications, public relations, or journalism (If a recent graduate, relevant internship experience is strongly preferred.)
  • Excellent analytical, data-driven, and process-oriented skills, and the ability to synthesize information efficiently
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with AP Style experience
  • Experienced with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn; knowledge of social media management tools such as Brandwatch a plus
  • Interest in working with reporters and the press
  • Experience working in video-based communications platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Facebook Live
  • Ability to adapt, with strong initiative and attention to detail that sees projects and tasks to completion
  • Ability to work under deadline and manage priorities as they arise
  • Self-starter who also works well as part of a team

Other desired qualities include:

  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Ability to use photo and video editing tools, such as Adobe Photoshop and Canva
  • Basic experience with HTML

Work Environment

Normal office setting with low to moderate noise level. Up to 10% travel required for events/board meetings.

Employer's Rights

RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.

How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To apply, please email careers@railstotrails.org with the following:

  • The position you are applying for in the subject line

  • A résumé (as a separate attachment)

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement about your personal background or experiences that demonstrate your potential to contribute to RTC’s commitment to create an inclusive and diverse workplace.​

  • We ask that each candidate submit a writing sample of no more than two pages, either a blog post, social media post, or newsletter.

Commitment to Diversity

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy seeks diverse, passionate and qualified individuals who want to make a difference in the world. RTC is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics.

If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail careers@railstotrails.org and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.