Member Spotlight: Alexandra Stewart

This Member Spotlight profiles Alexandra Stewart, media relations manager at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. She joined PRSA Tampa Bay in 2019, currently serves as website and content chair for the Digital Communications Committee, and previously served as event communications coordinator for the Digital Communication Committee.

  1. First news publication you read in the morning?

I read a newsletter called The Daily Skimm.

  1. First public relations job?

In 2009, my last year as an undergrad, I started a job in the theater department at Wayne State University as a public relations and marketing assistant. This led me into grad school, where I eventually became the marketing and communications manager for the Hilberry Theater at the university.

  1. Most important career mentor, and why?

My current boss and colleague, Paul Bilyeu. He’s been doing public relations in the arts for 25-plus years, so he has a lot of insight and advice in the niche field we work in.

Me (left) and my friend and colleague Emma attending a Ballet Nacional de Cuba performance at the Straz Center.

  1. Top grammar, style or writing pet peeve?

Hmm, probably the misuse of “then” for “than.”

  1. Most rewarding accomplishment in public relations?

My goal was to have a career in public relations that would bring joy to others. Doing PR in the arts allows me to promote art in various forms, and that is extremely gratifying.

Kayaking the Emerald’s Cut in Apopka, Florida, earlier this year.

  1. Advice to new public relations professionals?

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, was on a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, TED Radio Hour on NPR, and she said something that really moved me – that we shouldn’t follow our passion, we should follow our curiosity. I feel like this is great advice for anyone in any career, but especially a career in PR, as it’s applicable to choosing an industry to practice public relations in.

  1. Job you would pursue if you weren’t in public relations?

Travel writer, videographer or photographer, roles I’ve been trying to learn in my free time. If money weren’t an object, I’d pursue singing.

My husband, Mark, and me on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City last year.

  1. Favorite movie?

Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge – I love musical films with love stories.

  1. Favorite vacation?

I moved to Ireland for a year at the end of 2013 and did a three-week train trip that took me to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Krakow, and Budapest, for a musical festival, and, finally, to Hvar, Croatia. It was the adventure of a lifetime.

My first trip to Ireland, in 2013.

  1. Any three dinner guests?

This is such a tough question, as there’s so many people I’d like to choose for different reasons. But for the sake of fun, let’s go with Dolly Parton, Ellen DeGeneres and Bette Midler.   

My husband and me at a Detroit Tigers spring training game on St. Patrick’s Day last year.


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