NPR Training
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NPR-WAMU Digital Day

The NPR-WAMU Digital Day was the first event of its kind. On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, more than 120 digital staffers from Member stations and NPR gathered for a full day of learning, networking and collaboration at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

(Jenna Sterner/NPR)

Attendees heard from digital leaders and journalists at both NPR and stations on topics ranging from audience engagement and smart speaker research to digital collaboration and story planning. It was an opportunity to meet in person and develop fresh ideas about how we might tackle our shared challenges and better serve our collective audiences. The agenda is included below. 

We used #nprdigital. You can find a Twitter list of participants here.

The event was co-organized by members of NPR’s Training team, newsroom, digital media division and WAMU. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

7:45 – 9:00 a.m.

Check in + breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.


9:15 – 10:30 a.m.


Find your people, solve your problems
Now that the coffee has kicked in, we’ll get to know each other and start tackling our biggest challenges.

Serri Graslie — Director of Digital Training, NPR Training Team

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.


10:45 – 11:45 a.m.


Product managing your newsletter
In this session, you’ll hear about case studies from three public media stations that are experimenting with – and seeing results from – their editorial newsletters in three different sustainable models. All three examples share these common themes: a clear definition of their target audience, a manageable workflow and a product management approach to content development and testing.

Lauren Bracey Scheidt — Sr. Product Manager, Listener Journey, NPR

Tiffany Campbell — Executive Editor, Digital, WBUR

Ki Sung — Sr. Editor, MindShift, KQED

Brendan Williams — Digital Media Specialist, St. Louis Public Radio

Reimagining the talk show: How to engage your audience digitally (and get beyond Facebook and Twitter)

Get the perspective from a national show (1A) and a statewide show (The 21st). You’ll hear about how they’re using tools like Hearken, Reddit, SMS and more to engage audiences and include listeners from production to the on-air conversation — and beyond.

Niala Boodhoo — Host/EP, The 21st, Illinois Public Media

Gabe Bullard — Sr. Producer for Digital, 1A, WAMU

Smart speaker user research findings

Over the past year, NPR’s Audience Insights, Digital Media and Story Lab teams have embarked on user research projects designed to understand the attitudes and behaviors of public radio listeners regarding smart speakers and voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. In this session, we will share highlights from our research and answer questions about the potential of this exciting technology.

Susan Leland — Associate Director, Audience Insights, NPR

Wes Lindamood — Sr. Interaction Designer, Visuals, NPR

Integrating a visual strategy

In this session, we’ll cover the theory and practice behind the importance of visual journalism to a successful digital presence. How do you work with photography, video, data and graphics to provide your audience with a multi-platform public media take on the world?

Jan Boyd — Director of Digital Strategy & Community Engagement, OPB

Constance Miller — Manager of Digital Development, Visuals, NPR

Keith W. Jenkins — Director of Visual Journalism, NPR

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Break + grab lunch

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.


Digital editorial collaboration
How can we all work better together now? And what can stations and NPR be doing to prepare for the future? Let’s talk about it while we eat. Join three key members of NPR’s editorial staff as they address your questions on collaboration, inspired by responses to the pre-event survey.

Sara Goo — Managing Editor, NPR News
Bruce Auster — Sr. Director, Collaborative Journalism Network
Tamar Charney — Managing Editor, NPR One

Moderator:  Kelsey Proud — Managing Editor of Digital, WAMU

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.


1:45 – 2:45 p.m.


The future of station publishing
As NPR and Member stations build a strong Digital Network, how might we best construct new publishing tools and web presences? This session will share the latest concepts and seek your ideas and feedback.

Patrick Cooper — Director, Web & Engagement, NPR

Liz Danzico — Creative Director, NPR

Cale Rubenstein — Product Manager, Station Content Tools, NPR

Digital story planning & discussion

Part big-picture, part practical examples, part group discussion – that’s what you’ll get in this session about digital story planning and how to make your day-to-day more effective. Bring your current workflow and planning questions to workshop with your fellow attendees.

Teresa E. Frontado — Digital Director, WLRN

Kelsey Proud — Managing Editor of Digital, WAMU

How to make your branded social account sound human
This session will emphasize the importance of developing a separate voice for your show or station — and use your liberal arts skills to start building one.

Brandon Echter — Digital Managing Editor, Science Friday

2:45 – 4:15 p.m.


Office hours
This is your chance to put faces to names and ask questions. No prior sign-up required. You have the opportunity to connect with (mostly) NPR people on the following topics:

Amplify / Local Stories Project
Analytics & SEO
Collaborative Journalism Network
Data Visualization
Digital Design
Digital Editorial Strategy
Digital Network, Core Publisher & API
Digital Product Support: Station Relations
Diversity & Training
Ethics & Standards
Photo & Video
Podcast Marketing & Promotion
Social Strategy
WAMU & Member Station Matters

NPR tours

Tours take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

4:15 – 4:50 p.m.

Lightning talks with five minutes for presentations, five minutes for Q&A.

Social audio: Is it the panacea for non-visual content?
Getting people to listen to audio on social media is hard. Many audio organizations have been experimenting with different ways of creating and sharing listening experiences on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We’ll look at what we’ve learned from various tests at NPR.

Mathilde Piard — Project Manager, Programming, NPR

To boost or not to boost? How to use paid social media to drive listening

While steady, organic growth of your station’s Facebook audience is key, strategically investing in social media advertising can pay off in terms of website traffic and podcast downloads (and you don’t have to spend a ton!). WBUR will share what paid social tactics have worked for the station along with a few activities you can skip.

Adrienne Lavidor-Berman — Digital Revenue + Marketing Operations Manager, WBUR

Facebook groups: How to win fans + influence producers

What you need to know to create a living, breathing Facebook group that will build a fanbase and inform your reporting. Learn how KCRW and WAMU are using Facebook groups to support new programming and inspire community engagement.

Chris Chester — Audience Editor, WAMU
Caitlin Shamberg — Sr. Digital Editor, KCRW

4:50 – 5:25 p.m.

Wrap Up

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Happy Hour
Details will be provided to attendees.

Questions? Email