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, we are featuring Rosemary Girard.
Name: Rosemary Girard
Twitter Handle: @RosemaryKGirard
Job Title: Communications Associate
Where You're From: Arlington, VA
An Inside Look:
You're the Communications Associate. What does that mean?
My position is a hybrid of roles, all with the purpose of communicating about NPR's journalism, initiatives, public engagement, and brand. I do corporate communications, which involves writing content and managing an editorial calendar for different types of corporate news and announcements; talent relations, where I facilitate booking requests for NPR talents' speaking engagements; audience relations, where I respond to public inquiries on behalf of NPR's programming and management; and community relations, where I support events, tours of headquarters, and other aspects of the NPR community.
My role in communications is part of the larger Marketing, Branding, and Communications division at NPR, and I love working closely with colleagues in all of these areas.
How did you get started here? Or what advice do you have for someone who wants a job like yours?
I graduated from James Madison University in May 2015 (go Dukes!) and started at NPR as an intern that September. Then, it turned out that my department was hiring for a new position, so I applied! Now they're stuck with me. The in-between part was scary, but I worked a couple of temporary jobs simultaneously until I landed my gig at NPR.
If you're looking to break into communications, there are some obvious things: be a good writer (and always practice writing), understand the power of language, and have good instincts about the way people consume and interpret communication. Communications, just like most other things, is challenging in the sense that it requires experience to prove. There's no certificate or degree you can earn that gives you an automatic "Communicator!" distinction. So if you're still in college, or a recent graduate, get as many internships as you can and build a robust writing portfolio. I'm always looking for different things I can add to my experience bucket, too.
What are some cool things you've worked on?
Writing things on behalf of NPR Communications and sending them out to an organization full of journalists—people who are trained to edit carefully and ask tough questions—always feels cool and humbling at the same time. There's nothing like getting an email back from a famous NPR personality with a correction or tough question to keep things real. And I love it! Also, this collection of stories from Latinos at NPR.
What's your favorite #nprlife moment?
The time T-Pain gave me a personal concert in Studio One. And by personal concert I mean sound-check. And there were other people there. And it was dark, so he probably didn't see me.
First thing you do when you get to the office?
Crawl to the coffee machine. I'm not a morning person, so I make an effort to get here early—that way, no one sees me at my crankiest and no one gets hurt.
What's on your desk?
A James Madison University pennant, a really nice bouquet of fake flowers, a Dancers Among Us calendar, photos of me and some of my favorite people, some trinkets that special tour groups have given me (the chocolate is long gone), mugs, and a lot of NPR swag.
What are you inspired by right now?
I'm always inspired by creative nonfiction, my favorite genre. I have a huge list of books that I've been craving to read while I've been in grad school. I can't wait to get to them more quickly!
Other current inspirations? Mr. Robot (this show breaks me every time and I still keep coming back for more), @thehavenly, @nude_yogagirl (don't worry, it's artistic). Anyone who can work out in the morning. And, always, Misty Copeland.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Phish Food. Oil reed diffusers (so I don't burn my apartment down). Celebrity talk show interviews. $1 soft serve ice cream from McDonald's (also McDonald's fish filets). Singing very loudly.
Favorite places in Washington D.C.?
The Mount Vernon Trail serves as a great path between my apartment and the city for running or walking. Zaytinya is my favorite José Andrés restaurant. I swear by the Jefferson Memorial being the best spot for picnics. I'm amazed by the Great Hall in the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building every time I walk in, especially at Christmas time. The Georgetown waterfront is great for thinking and people watching. District Doughnut and any of the PAUL bakery locations are also winners.
What do you love about public radio?
It all comes back to the mission. The things people do at NPR—and the way they do them—never cease to make me proud and push me to work harder.