Faces Of NPR: Justin Winn

Nov 5, 2018

Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what they're inspired by on the daily. This week's post features Justin Winn, the Community Relations Manager at NPR.

The Basics:

Name: Justin Winn

Job Title: Community Relations and Business Manager

Where You're From: Lubbock, TX

An Inside Look:

You're the Community Relations Manager here at NPR. What does that mean? What does your day-to-day look like?

It's difficult to paint a picture because almost every day is different. As the Community Relations Manager, I work with third-party organizations to book and produce events in the largest studio in NPR HQ, Studio 1. We hold film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, and other community engagement activities. I also manage our tour program here and oversee a team of volunteers called NPR Ambassadors who lead tours and do other things for us around the building. And finally, I manage NPR's sponsorship and messaging at various media conferences around the country.

How did you get started here? What advice do you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

I started as a temp in the Listener Services department (now the Audience Relations team) responding to listener emails and phone calls before moving in into the Community Manager role. For a job like this, you have to enjoy constantly being around people. I think volunteering here or with other organizations is a great way to get started in this field.

What are some projects you're most proud of that you've worked on?

I spearheaded the curation and installation of the memorial to David Gilkey and Zabihulla Tamanna on the first floor at HQ. It was an extremely tough time for so many of our colleagues, and being able to help create a lasting tribute to honor David and Zabi is something I will never forget. Also, I started the NPR Ambassador volunteer program and get the opportunity to work with listeners that love NPR so much that they want to volunteer with us.

What is unique about the tours at NPR?

NPR is the only media organization in the city that offers official tours. Over 40,000 people have visited since we started the tours in 2013. I think it's important that our doors are open to the public and that we provide an engaging, educational experience.

What is something you've learned about NPR HQ from giving tours?

Have you seen the phone booth in Sound Bites? That actually came with us from our previous headquarters on Mass. Ave. As it turns out, that phone booth was manufactured in this building in the late 1920's by the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company. Full circle.

What's on your desk?

Quite a bit of stuff. Sometimes the groups that we provide tours for will bring thank-you gifts. There is a toy astronaut from Ohio State, stuffed animal lobster from Cape Cod, coffee beans from Compass Coffee, a mini drone from our friends at Hickok Cole, and a million other useless items.

Favorite podcast?

Up First gets my day started, and I don't think I've ever hit skip when Fresh Air pops up while on NPR One.

Favorite Tiny Desk?

T-Pain.

Favorite places in Washington D.C.?

My neighborhood, Bloomingdale. It's got everything you need; Big Bear Cafe, Boundary Stone, Red Hen, a secret little park called Crispus Attucks.

First thing you do when you get to the office?

Make sure all of the expected visitors for the day are in the system for security check in. Some days it's five people, some days it's fifty people.

What do you love about public radio?

How smart people automatically think you are when you tell them where you work. And of course, the storytelling, There's nothing else like it.

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