Confessions of a Gospel Publicist (Part I)
(with JoJo Pada)

GOSPELflava.com is excited to join together with our media colleagues in celebrating one our favorite industry execs, Jojo Pada. The year 2010 marks fifteen years in the business for her and she celebrates by giving us a gift. Along with Gospelpundit.com and The Gospel According to Torrence on BET.com, we publish part one of three-part series on the role PR plays in gospel. Read about JoJo below, and then read on to gain an understanding of the world of PR in her own words...

Background on JoJo Pada:
With 15 years of publicity experience in the entertainment industry, Jojo Pada opened the doors to the newly formed public relations firm, IGNITION PR, in 2007. JoJo Pada The company's goal is to pioneer cutting-edge faith-based projects that will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the mass media, through creative ideas; national press campaigns and strategic partnerships with key industry and media outlets.

Previously the VP of Publicity at Light Records and Sr. Director of Publicity at Zomba Gospel, Pada spent 9 years learning, dominating and crafting press campaigns in the Gospel industry. She has worked with a number of superstars such as Donnie McClurkin, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Deitrick Haddon, Judith Christie-McAllister, Donald Lawrence, Hezekiah Walker, VIRTUE, Commissioned, Daryl Coley, Richard Smallwood, Cheryl "Coko" Clemons, Shirley Caesar, The Clark Sisters and a host of others.


Here's the thing about what makes public relations and publicity so special: PR is the kind of thing that no one can truly define yet EVERYONE seems to want.

Some think it's to get you on TV or to get you into P.Diddy's parties, some think it's to write your bio or plan a big event, or even just to run and fetch you water after you come off stage. Some think PR is a way to tell your story for you or to help you sound more interesting than the next person. In truth, it's all of that and more.

2010 marks my 15th Anniversary as a publicist in the entertainment industry. And I've probably have done all of the above and more. Among the many lessons I've learned is that there isn't one thing about PR that isn't true. PR has the power to shape people's opinions, create perceptions and tell your story.

People either LOVE or HATE their publicists. They love you when they see a 2-page spread in Ebony Magazine, but hate you when the Blogs talk about whom you are dating (or not dating). They are thrilled with your work when you get them a performance on a national TV program but think you suck when regional cable is all you've got. I've been reviled and celebrated all in the same day. So trust me I know the ups and downs of being an entertainment publicist!

Unlike advertising - we have to get what we get solely on our contacts and ability to pitch - we don't just pay $1,000 for a 10-inch column above the fold. So that's probably why most of us have a chip on our shoulder. Our 'work product' just isn't tangible like other professions. I don't know how I can prove to you that I've called the booker at Bobby Jones Gospel televisions how 100 times and emailed 100 more. But sometimes, that's all we have and you, as clients have to trust that we really did try. And we really do believe in your vision.

I still love being publicist. I love the thrill of pitching a producer and getting a booking. I love hearing the words 'let's set up an interview;' I love calling a brand-new reporter and seeing if I can still pitch. I love putting together TV performances and planning events. I love to write. I know that I've been called to be a publicist. But have you?

Read Parts II and III for some helpful hints if you want to become a publicist or if you are looking for a publicist...

Parts II and III of these Confessions can be found on Gospelpundit.com and The Gospel According to Torrence, respectively.

And —be sure to read our Q&A with JoJo Pada in this accompanying piece.

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