Associate Director, Helpline Marketing

Brief Overview:

We are seeking an Associate Director, Helpline Marketing to play a leadership role in the branding, marketing, and continued growth and development across all of the substance use and problem gambling Helplines operated by HRiA.

Position Description:

Health Resources in Action (HRiA) is a non-profit, public health consulting organization with a mission to help people live healthier lives and create healthy communities through prevention, health promotion, policy, and research.  With an emphasis on community engagement and commitment to racial and healthy equity, HRiA has earned a national reputation as a leader in the fields of public health and social change. We work with diverse clients who share our vision of healthier communities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local health departments, community-based organizations, hospitals, and private/corporate philanthropic entities.

Since its founding in 1957, HRiA has been at the forefront of public health, leading the way to promote healthier and more vibrant communities. Our work recognizes how structural racism and social and economic factors impact health outcomes. Our health equity framework centers on racial equity and guides our work with communities, partners, and clients as well as our internal policies and processes. HRiA is a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, comprising over 40 affiliates across the country.

Health Resources in Action offers exciting, engaging, and challenging employment opportunities for researchers, facilitators, analysts, trainers, policy specialists, and more. People come to HRiA because of our commitment to social justice and health equity, our wonderful clients and partners, and our dedicated and dynamic staff. People stay at HRIA because of our collaborative approach to problem solving, our friendly work environment, and our commitment to providing employees with challenging and exciting professional opportunities.

Equity & inclusion are core values of our organization. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through varied backgrounds. As public health practitioners with a social justice focus, we are committed to better understanding and learning from the institutional structures that create disparities among us and our work. We are actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. We provide an energizing and supportive environment in which to work and to build a career. For more information about the organization visit

HRiA’s core services focus on: (1) capacity building assistance, (2) grantmaking for biomedical research and community health initiatives, (3) research and evaluation, (4) policy and systems change, and (5) public health services – all with a central vision of advancing health and racial equity. HRiA’s health and racial equity team collaborates across all of our service areas and externally with partners and clients to disrupt the systems that have created inequities and injustices within the communities we serve and develop and strengthen internal policies and practices to support our own organizational culture transformation.

About the Helplines: HRiA manages an extensive portfolio of behavioral health initiatives, including statewide substance use Helplines in Vermont and substance use and problem gambling Helplines in Massachusetts and Illinois. The Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances (Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery) was launched in 2017, building upon our experience operating the MA Substance Use Helpline (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services) for over 23 years. HRiA launched the Vermont Helplink (Vermont Department of Health, Division of Substance Use Programs) in 2019. HRiA began operating the MA Problem Gambling Helpline (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling Services) in 2020 and the Illinois Problem Gambling Helpline (Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery) in 2022. In the fall of 2023, HRiA was awarded a contract for the Behavioral Health Resource Network Helpline for the Oregon Health Authority, which is now in development. To learn more about HRiA and our Helplines, visit:


Health Resources in Action is seeking an Associate Director, Helpline Marketing to play a leadership role in the branding, marketing, and continued growth and development across all of the substance use and problem gambling Helplines operated by HRiA.

Position Description

This is an opportunity for a seasoned marketing professional to apply their expertise and passion to effectively reach and serve audiences in several states who are impacted by substance use and problem gambling, including those who may be actively using substances/engaged in problematic gambling, service providers, and loved ones. The Associate Director, Helpline Marketing will work closely with a highly committed and growing team of marketing and communication staff, clinical and operations staff, web development staff, and other partners to play a leading role in product and service development, branding, and ongoing marketing efforts to build awareness of and demand for Helpline services. If not experienced in or knowledgeable about behavioral health, the Associate Director should share a commitment to social change, and be highly curious, open, and eager to learn about HRiA’s approach to issues of behavioral health, including harm reduction and equity-centered approaches (see HRiA’s BeHERE Initiative for more detail). As a member of the Health and Racial Equity Cluster, the Associate Director will contribute to the Communication and Narrative Practice Area and be part of a cluster that works to transform culture, community, and systems by shifting narratives, building community power, and advancing equitable policies and practices. The Associate Director will also be an active member of the Helpline team, report to the Managing Director of Health Communication, and will initially supervise one staff member with the potential of growing the team and supervisory responsibility.

This is an exempt, full-time position with a salary range in the low 80s to low 90s, based on skills and experience. The Associate Director may work remotely or in the Boston office. Residency or experience in MA, IL, VT, and/or OR is a bonus. Occasional travel to the Boston office and states in which HRiA operates Helplines is required (for example, 2-4 times a year); travel is paid for and/or reimbursed by HRiA or funded projects.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Associate Director, Helplines Marketing will start by taking a leading role in one to two key Helpline branding/marketing projects, including the OR Helpline (currently in the start-up phase), and is anticipated to advance into a marketing oversight role across all HRiA-operated Helplines, working in close collaboration with other communication staff members, clients, and consultants. The Associate Director will also contribute to strategic planning for the growth of HRiA Helplines and related marketing/communications staff and capacity.
  • Play a leadership role in developing a comprehensive approach to Helpline branding/marketing, while accounting for differences in Helpline audiences and different state systems and contexts in which Helplines operate
  • Collaborate across Helpline teams to create best practices, systems, and structures to support effective and efficient Helpline marketing efforts
  • Communicate effectively, efficiently, and appropriately with funders, project teams, supervisor, and other stakeholders to build and maintain trust and confidence
  • Supervise, mentor, evaluate, and support the professional development of one Helpline staff member initially, with potential to supervise additional staff
Project Work
  • Lead in the branding/marketing of a new HRiA-operated Helpline currently in the development/start-up phase, and future Helplines as needed
  • Advise and execute on branding/marketing strategy for other HRiA Helplines, with the intention of assuming full oversight of branding and marketing for all Helplines within 6 to 12 months
  • Monitor status of marketing efforts; build systems to support consistent monitoring across Helplines and develop benchmarks; assess effectiveness of marketing efforts and make adjustments and improvements
  • Project manage at a high level, including timeline and budget development and management; build and support project teams including internal staff and external consultants/partners
Thought Leadership
  • Be a thought partner with the Managing Director of Health Communication and other communication staff in creating systems, infrastructure, and efficiencies to ensure Helpline brand integrity, improve user experience, and increase user demand for Helpline services
  • Build branding/marketing understanding and capacity among staff
  • Be an active contributor to the Health and Racial Equity Cluster, HRE leadership, communication and narrative practice area, and Helpline team
  • Participate in HRiA’s Behavioral Health and Racial Equity (BeHERE) Initiative team
  • Present at relevant conferences as appropriate and develop thought leadership content (such as blogs, tools, etc.)
  • Offer ideas and improvements in project and/or organizational processes and systems through participation in HRiA teams and committees
Business and Partnership Development
  • Offer strategic and visionary thinking to inform the growth of the Helpline line of business and related substance use/problem gambling work
  • Lead on the marketing aspects of proposal and scope development; build relationships and identify opportunities to build upon existing Helpline marketing business

Training in addiction, harm reduction/treatment/recovery services, and service systems will be available. Coordination with team members in different time zones will be required; standard office hours are 9-5 Eastern Mon-Fri and may be flexible.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position. It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the rights of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under his/her supervision. The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in marketing, communications, or related field
  • 5+ years of branding and marketing experience in a leadership or management capacity, including brand development and maintaining brand integrity, and 5+ years managing clients and leading teams
  • Demonstrated marketing expertise inclusive of traditional, digital/social, and niche/unconventional strategies to reach underserved audiences
  • Expertise in developing and executing marketing plans, including monitoring metrics and reporting and data-based decision making
  • Expertise in social media planning and strategy and/or product/service development
  • Expertise in consumer experience and/or user experience
  • Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills
  • Experience building and working in diverse teams and across diverse work styles, including creative, production, media buying, web development, and other staff and partners
  • Commitment to advancing health and racial equity and social justice
  • Strong commitment to compassionate and person-centered approaches to behavioral health, including harm reduction, whether through lived, living, and/or learned experiences
  • Humility to listen and learn about issues of behavioral health and racial equity, particularly from those with lived/living experience
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and commitment to a collaborative, team-based work culture
  • Bi-cultural/bi-lingual a plus (particularly Spanish-speaking)
  • Residency or experience in MA, IL, VT, or OR a plus

How to Apply:

To apply, submit your resume and cover letter online.

HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

HRiA offers an attractive benefits package including medical, dental, and life insurance, short term disability insurance, retirement plan, tax-deferred annuity, flexible work schedules, and generous paid time off, including vacation starting at four weeks, sick time, and office closure at the end of December.

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