PR pro Alexandria Hammond has a story for you.
by Bill Donahue

As a seasoned public relations professional, Alexandria Hammond is used to initiating the story, driving it, controlling it; she’s just not used to being the story.

If Hammond’s name sounds familiar, it might be from recent news stories about Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, the Philadelphia-based orthopedics and sports-medicine juggernaut with locations throughout the city and suburbs. As the organization’s manager of communications, she often finds herself responding to reporters’ requests for comment on developing news or stories about Rothman’s areas of specialized expertise.
Hammond spends her days in the health-and-wellness sector, but she has worked on campaigns for clients across industries. Earlier in her career, for example, she had a hand in turning The Elf on the Shelf into a household name. While she enjoys the rhythm and responsibilities of the job, she once envisioned a much different career than the one she created for herself—namely, teaching.
“At some point I realized that teaching was not for me, at least not at the high school or elementary school level,” says Hammond, a South Jersey resident originally from New York. “Through Rutgers University – Camden, I started getting more experience in communications and PR. I also developed an interest in sports and health and wellness, and that’s when I started to realize what I really wanted to do with my life.”
Post-Rutgers, Hammond had the chance to work as a community relations intern for the New York Rangers and Knicks at Madison Square Garden, which she recalls as “one of the best experiences of my life.” The opportunity put her on a path to an important realization: This is what I want to do. In 2018, she earned a master’s in sport management from Drexel University.
Hammond joined the Rothman team in 2019, and was promoted to her current position in late 2022. Considering her interests and strengths, she sees Rothman as a hand-in-glove fit. Each day is different, and she appreciates the diversity the job requires: creating content, collaborating with Rothman physicians, pitching story ideas to media outlets, etc.
“I want to make sure I’m a leader and a mentor,” she adds. “It’s a very large organization, and in this position I have some people who report to me. Whoever it is, I hope they have a great experience. I want them to see me lead by example, and I want to make sure they know I am invested in them. I would never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t be willing to do.”
Away from the office, Hammond enjoys traveling and following her favorite sports teams; she’s a New York native, so forgive her for preferring the Giants, Knicks, and Rangers over the Eagles, Sixers, and Flyers. Most of all she enjoys spending time with her family—her parents, whom she describes as her best friends, as well as her two older brothers; she relishes the chance to be “the cool aunt” to her brothers’ children. She’s also “obsessed” with her dog, a German shepherd.
Hammond, who was a competitive cheerleader while at Rutgers, credits her parents for spurring her interest in health and wellness. Incidentally, her father spent five seasons as a running back in the National Football League; he also coached for 15 years, including a year with the Eagles, before moving on to a “second career” in higher education.
“My parents guided me and my brothers,” she adds. “I never felt hindered; they were the kind of people who guided you but let you make your own mistakes. They empowered me, and that helped me recognize the power of my voice.
“I’ve also been influenced by strong female personalities, always maneuvering and teaching,” she continues. “I’ve found that has made me very open and direct, and I think that has helped me be in a position to mentor other people. To this day, that’s the bug that bit me. I love mentoring people.”
Hammond feels like she’s arrived at a good spot in her career. Given the nature of her business—the next headline, the next story, the next campaign—she’s always thinking about the future. She has wrestled with the idea of returning to school some day. An interest in the law and its intersection with college sports makes it easy for her to envision herself using her skills to protect the best interests of young athletes.
Photo by Alison Dunlap
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, January 2024.