Alex McKechnie is PR Manager at Museum of the American Revolution. She has been a PPRA member for 10 years and serves on the Programming Committee.
PPRA: Alex, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.
AM: I currently work as the Public Relations Manager for the Museum of the American Revolution, which opened in April in Old City. I previously worked in Drexel University's Communications Office for five years, as well as at the National Constitution Center and the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. I am slowly making my way through all of Philadelphia's nonprofits. I got my Bachelor's degree in English and Communication from Messiah College, and my Master's in Public Communication from Drexel University.
PPRA: Who are your clients and/or what projects are you working on right now?
AM: Right now I am working on pitching an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the American Revolution entitled "Among His Troops: Washington's War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor," which will be on display for a limited run from Jan 13 - Feb 19. The exhibit is anchored by a painting that was recently discovered by the Museum's historians and includes the only wartime depiction of George Washington's headquarters tent. The original tent is on display at the Museum and is dramatically presented in its own state-of-the-art theater. It is a must-see!
PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?
AM: I love that every day is different. Whether I am pitching the donation of a sword that belonged to a Revolutionary War colonel, or the discovery of George Washington's sash, or the unveiling of a new artifact or exhibit, there is always something new to get excited about.
PPRA: What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?
AM: This was a big week - I won the PRSA Pepperpot Award for best nonprofit media relations campaign on Tuesday for the launch and opening of the Museum, and then had a story on the discovery of our new watercolor run in the New York Times, Associated Press and Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday. On Thursday, I slept.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
AM: Whenever people say that the press release is dead, I disagree. I think the old boring format of the press release is dead ("We're thrilled to announce..."), but creating your own engaging content has never been more important. Write the story you would want to read.
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
AM: I have a 2-year-old, so I have seen Moana about 150 times.
PPRA: What's your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)?
AM: I love taking out-of-town guests up to the 33rd floor of Loew's Hotel for a great view of the city. Reading Terminal Market, the Magic Gardens, and Sister Cities Park are also favorites.
PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?
AM: Does vegetarian count?
PPRA: Our PPRA 2017-18 PRoactive partnership is with Tree House Books. What was your favorite childhood book and why?
AM: I have a toddler so I can recite just about every children's book out there. All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon is really beautiful.