Philadelphia to tout Ben Franklin's legacy with 300th birthday celebration

PHILADELPHIA: Local tourism and cultural groups are pooling their resources for a $1.6-million campaign to promote events for Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday.

PHILADELPHIA: Local tourism and cultural groups are pooling their resources for a $1.6-million campaign to promote events for Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday.

The campaign centers on an exhibition, "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia starting December 15. Pew Charitable Trusts is helping to fund the show about Franklin, who was born Jan. 17, 1706 in Boston and moved to Philadelphia at the age of 17.

Partners in the marketing campaign include the Constitution Center, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. (GPTMC), and the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary (BFT).

The BFT contracted with Alta Communications, a Philadelphia PR firm, to drive traffic to the exhibition and communicate Franklin's relevance to the world today.

The GPTMC also is working with hotels, restaurants, and cultural institutions to develop Franklin-themed merchandise, menu items, and artistic performances. "Our goal is to get people to stay overnight," said GPTMC media relations manager Cara Schneider.

A marketing team, the Benergy Brigade, will make appearances at malls and events in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Wearing historic dress, the team will entertain with colonial games and hand out a listing of Franklin-themed happenings in Philadelphia.

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