Bakken joins UAB as media relations director

Jim Bakken will serve as director of media relations.

On Nov. 26, 2012, Jim Bakken assumed the director of media relations position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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In this position, Bakken reports to Dale Turnbough, UAB associate vice president for Public Relations and Marketing; the department is part of the Office for Development, Alumni and External Relations.

"We're delighted to have Jim join us," Turnbough said. "His extensive background in public relations, especially in education and health care, means he comes to UAB well prepared for this leadership role."

For more than a decade, Bakken has served local, regional and national clients at full-service communications firms McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations (MP&F) in Nashville and Peritus Public Relations in Birmingham. MP&F is one of the largest independent PR firms in the Southeast, and Peritus was named by O’Dwyers as a top 50 healthcare PR firm last year.

He is a member of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Advisory Board.

“I am honored to represent an institution that is so vital to the local and state economy, as well as the UAB students, faculty and staff that have made its extraordinary growth and impact possible,” Bakken said. “UAB always has a tremendous story to tell, and I look forward to working with a talented team of media relations professionals to share it.”

During his career, Bakken has served a diverse client base that includes Alabama Power, National HealthCare Corporation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), United States Department of Labor – Job Corps, United Healthcare and Vanderbilt University. 

Most recently, he led a media campaign for Cities for Life, a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation working closely with UAB’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, Diabetes Research and Training Center, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center and HealthSmart.

“I learned a lot about UAB’s commitment to the local community while working with brilliant, hard-working faculty and staff on the Cities for Life diabetes initiative,” Bakken said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join an institution so committed to clear goals and values that truly improve lives.” 

 Bakken graduated with a degree in public relations from the University of Alabama where he was an NCAA Academic All American finalist as a co-captain on the men’s basketball team. 

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