I don’t believe in regrets. Everything has a purpose – even the bad things. If I have learned the lesson from the bad experience then there is no need for regrets. It would be a regret if I kept making the same mistakes over and over again. But thank God I don’t have a hard head – I am pretty pliable and learn fast. I have learned to humble myself quickly and get the lesson in a hurry. I don’t like pain!
Candie A. Price: You’ve got to be one of the hardest working women in the Public Relations industry, specifically for God’s people! We appreciate you taking the time to share with our readers. First we’d like to know a little about your background. Where were you raised and what was your upbringing like?
PP: I am a Motown girl. Born and raised in Detroit during the 1960s and I am the only child in my family so I loved to play with other kids next door…and my family lived next door to a family who took me to church every Sunday. Yes, thank God, my next door neighbor had a church and I played with his kids. So you can say I kinda grew up a vicarious “P.K.”
CAP: Tell us about your family: spouse, children, names, ages, etc.
PP: My soulmate is Marc Perry. We’ve been married 12 years and we have one daughter, who is 11. Marc is a marketing executive in an ad agency. Uniworld. This was the first Black agency in the country. His firm handles the target marketing for corporations like Ford, Burger King, Home Depot.
CAP: For those readers that don’t know who you are, what exactly do you do and what does your business(s) consist of?
PP: Well Ministry Marketing Solutions Inc. is a public relations consulting firm that targets the African American Christian market. We promote Christian authors and ministries to the masses. Our tag line is: “Marketing the Message.” Our main clients are publishers like Baker/Revell, Moody/Lift Every Voice, Bridge Logos, Faith Words, Judson Press – these are publishers who deliver books to the Christian Booksellers Association market (CBA). You can also go to my website and get free info at www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com
CAP: With your background, skills and expertise in the Public Relations industry, you could certainly be making a hefty salary in corporate America, why did you decide to start your own company and devote your energy and skills toward marketing Christian businesses, ministries, and artists?
PP: – It was a God idea for sure. Like I said, growing up next door to a preacher, I had first hand knowledge of how ministries worked because I was there so often. My gift was not in ushering, singing or event planning – I had a real heart to just promote and tell everyone about special events at the church. One day during my teen years, Rev. Jordan said, “You are doing PR for Jesus.” That stuck. So, when I went to college – I majored in public relations and journalism. I started in secular media and agencies– but the Lord pulled me in to work with ministries after I had “cut my teeth” with those companies, and I began working with nonprofit Christian ministries, like The Salvation Army. And yes it was a big pay cut – but the personal rewards are incomparable! I love being in God’s will for my life.
CAP: So many people don’t understand or see the need for a public relations component to enhance their business projects and/or ministries, especially in the African American community. How difficult was it for you to get those in this niche market to trust and believe in your approach and is this still a challenge for you?
PP: -Yes, that is the biggest frustration I have. That’s why I try to teach, train and coach others about the importance of ministry marketing. I tell self-published authors and ministers to think of marketing as evangelism but with more muscle. Instead of witnessing to someone one on one – think of it as planting seeds to thousands at a time. That’s why I love internet marketing – I call it digital evangelism. It’s so viral.
CAP: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your responsibilities?
PP: – Taking someone’s dream/vision and helping them bring it to pass. I love seeing authors interact with readers at book signing and conferences. I love hearing the good reports that the ministries are able to accomplish because they met their financial goals and had tons of products sold. It’s also exciting to me to get people excited about the things of God – you know some people don’t go to church and read Christian books – and when they go to an event or read a book because of some marketing that MMS has had a hand in – I know God is pleased and I’m ecstatic.
CAP: If there is one thing that you could change about the public relations industry and the perceptions of others about “PR” professionals, what would it be?
PP: True PR professionals are really just trained journalists. I would love for the media to really get that. We just happen to be working for a client – and not the press. We really can work with the media by providing good stories, interviews, sources, etc. We are content providers and idea generators. We have a heart for the media and I have a heart especially for Christian media.
CAP: As a Christian first, how do you see your role in crafting a marketing plan for your clients?
PP: Honesty. Integrity. That’s number one. I also let the Holy Spirit guide me when I put together a campaign strategy. My business was founded on Act 1:8 so I really believe in getting out of the way and following the Holy Spirit.
CAP: There has been a huge uprising of individuals in recent years representing themselves as “publicists” and “promoters”. Surely it is so hard for someone to know whether or not some individuals can actually deliver on what they promise in promoting them and/or their projects. What would your advice be to someone who is just starting a Christian business or is a Christian artist trying to promote a service/ministry or product and looking for a public relations professional to assist them?
PP: Ask them who they have promoted and what kind of campaigns have they created. Then ask them if it’s ok to contact that person. That will get rid of any doubt if they can deliver. My clients testimonials are on my website – so people can see what people have said about Ministry Marketing Solutions Inc. Also google them. ϑ Google doesn’t lie.
CAP:: There may be someone reading this who is inspired by all of the great things you do and the success of your business, who would you say has been your greatest source of encouragement in your career?
PP: My greatest source of encouragement are my previous pastor, Rev. Dr. Joseph R. Jordan and my current pastors, Dr. James and Stacia Pierce of Life Changers Christian Center in Lansing. They are a breath of fresh air when I need a lift and they are great business people. I learn so much from just watching them. I believe some things can be taught but most things are just “caught” by serving someone else. I read all their books too! You really can learn a lot by reading.
CAP: What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
PP: I remember I was really trying to get the CBA industry to understand the African American Christian market and really hitting brick walls. And one day, a Bishop said to me, “Quit trying to get white folks to like you and just concentrate on loving each other [meaning other blacks]” I believe there is strength in numbers and our race must learn to work together more and really love each other – and help one another in business. That’s what other races do – and sometimes African Americans do the opposite. o, I work with other publicists and share information with them regularly and we even have a blog together (www.ThePRDistinction.blogspot.com)
CAP: What is your favorite scripture and why?
PP: Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge…” because I believe people would really do better if they knew better. That’s why I love books and the book biz!
CAP: What biblical character most mirrors your life and why?
PP: Peter. I am one to take a risk and walk on the water – even if it’s just for a moment – I really believe God and know He can save me if I start to sink. When I left my “real” job 8 years about, I told everyone to call me Pam “Peter” Perry.
CAP: How do you want to be remembered?
PP: One who helped paved the way for tons of successful African American Christian authors – spreading the Word and turning the world upside down! I want my business to have an impact and change lives!
CAP: With all the things that you have accomplished what’s next for PP:? What have you not done that you want to still do?
PP: I want to start a University. We are in the process of launching an online “Ministry Marketing University.” Look for that next year! We are going global to teach others about ministry marketing!
CAP: As you look over your life, what is the one thing that you regret?
PP: I don’t believe in regrets. Everything has a purpose – even the bad things. If I have learned the lesson from the bad experience then there is no need for regrets. It would be a regret if I kept making the same mistakes over and over again. But thank God I don’t have a hard head – I am pretty pliable and learn fast. I have learned to humble myself quickly and get the lesson in a hurry. I don’t like pain!
CAP: Please leave with us any information about your latest projects, books, conferences, etc. and how others may contact you or secure your services:
PP: I am working on doing monthly Teleseminars for authors and have an October PR Boot Camp coming up. My book, “115 PR Tips to Brand Your Ministry” is doing well. Churches are buying it for conferences they’re hosting. People can tune in and find out all my business and get the books/CDs at www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com or call 248.342.8806.