Relighting the Way to Philly

My name is Alexa Brady and I’m a senior advertising major with a concentration in brand strategy and research. Throughout the first few years of being in college, I had no idea what I wanted to major in or what I wanted to do with my life. Instead of stressing myself out and rushing into a career path I didn’t like, I decided to allow myself to explore options and learn about myself. After declaring and switching majors four times, I found myself in Klein College as an advertising student. I love the storytelling aspect and the creative opportunities, as well as the plethora of paths my life could take with the major. However, I was not done exploring quite yet. While looking for spring internships, I expanded my horizons to internships outside of advertising that still incorporate the concepts I’ve learned in my advertising classes. After months of searching and weighing my options, I eventually landed at Relief Communications as a Public Relations intern.

Relief Communications has brought me so many fun and engaging opportunities in the past few months, from drafting media advisories to attending early morning news shoots. My favorite, however, was the relighting ceremony of Boathouse Row. The lights along the iconic Boathouse Row mean so much to the people of Philadelphia and beyond as they remind them of home and light the way to the heart of the city. However, the lights were turned off last March for a much-needed renovation. In this time, the Fairmount Park Conservancy was able to work with different groups to give the lights an upgrade, making them shine brighter than ever before! The lights are now fully LED, can be programmed to reflect 16 million color combinations, and can dance and “sparkle” along the water. At the lighting ceremony on March 7th, thousands of people gathered along the Schuylkill River to welcome in the new lights and celebrate the shimmering upgrade of the iconic Philadelphia landmark.

At the ceremony, I served as a “sidekick” to my supervisor, helping to direct the media and press to their respective areas, monitor what news reporters say while on air, and work with the Fairmount Park Conservancy to keep the ceremony running smoothly. Getting to talk to all kinds of people and network at such a wholesome and exciting event was so invigorating and I tried to take advantage of the experience the best I could. I got to talk to reporters and members of the press about their roles, non-profit workers from the Fairmount Park Conservancy about their jobs and what the organization does to help the city, and some citizens of Philadelphia about their excitement!

The morning after the event, I woke up to my 3 am alarm to head back to the boathouses to observe and help my supervisor with the early morning news covering the relighting of Boathouse Row. At one point, there were four different news stations, including NBC 10 and CBS, so bouncing around to listen to what they were reporting on kept me alert at such an early hour. Watching live TV be filmed from behind the scenes is one of my favorite parts of my work because it truly does feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience of which I feel so grateful to be a part. Working at Relief Communications with my supervisor, Cari Feiler Bender, has been such a wonderful venture and has opened my eyes to the world of public relations in such an exhilarating way. Getting to work exclusively with non-profits has made the work much more fulfilling, and I can’t wait to see where the remainder of this journey takes me.

One comment

  1. Hi Alexa! So cool you got to experience this; what a great day. 3 am is intense- glad you made it happen! Great work

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