Spotlight: ‘Enjoy The Journey’
Pamela Sparks, a PR and COM graduate, looks for the learning opportunity in every experience, even when the national media is calling her at 4 a.m.
The time Pamela Sparks sets her alarm clock just may influence when the world gets its latest news.
She is talking to the national media one minute, and then taking her son to kindergarten the next.
Sparks, who graduated from The University of Alabama in 1996 with her bachelor of arts degree in public relations and in 2000 with a master’s degree in communication studies, currently holds the position as the manager of media and public relations at Huntsville Hospital.
Huntsville Hospital is the only regional referral center in North Alabama and the state’s largest community-owned and governed, not-for-profit hospital serving a population of 1.5 million.
Sparks must keep all of these things in mind while she is marketing the products and services of Huntsville Hospital, protecting the Huntsville Hospital brand and thinking strategically as they continue to grow and affiliate with other not-for-profit hospitals in North Alabama.
Recently an eye opening event occurred for Sparks.
“I share the responsibility of being on-call for media with one of my colleagues. In February, the UA-Huntsville campus shooting turned into an international media story. I was paged by every media outlet imaginable in the hours following the shooting for patient condition updates -- CNN, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times, NY Times, Washington Post, etc., etc.,” Sparks explained. “Every time a major newspaper went to print or updated their content online, I got paged. So, when I collapsed into bed at 1 a.m., I set the alarm clock for 4 a.m. because I knew the national broadcast media would start paging again for their early morning TV news programs. I asked my husband ‘Is it weird that what time we decide to set our alarm clock determines when the world gets the latest news on these shooting victims?’ I realized then that I've been entrusted with a huge responsibility.”
In addition to being the manager of media and public relations at Huntsville Hospital, Sparks is a proud mother and wife; she is also an active community and church volunteer.
Sparks is nearing her 14-year anniversary with Huntsville Hospital and plans to continue her career there until retirement. Once Sparks retires she hopes to become a full-time civic volunteer.
Sparks says that since graduating from The University of Alabama she has learned to “look for the ‘take away’ from every experience -- the good and the not-so-good. And, above all, enjoy the journey.”