On self-promotion

There has been a post and debate on another blog about self-promotion, specifically concerning the group Young Harmony. Since the comments have degenerated into a flame war with some irresponsible gossip, I won’t link directly to the story, but here are my thoughts.

I have no problem with self-promotion done responsibly. Especially when a group is starting, their audience simply isn’t going to find them. They have to invest in advertisements, networking, personal contacts, and basically every route they can to get their first bookings and studio time.

At what point does self-promotion cross the line and become irresponsible self-promotion?

One obvious line is if something unethical is done. For example, if it is unethical to sign up all your fans for Gospel Music Association memberships so that they can vote in the Dove Awards, then don’t do it. But if it is not unethical, then I see no difference between selling GMA memberships and Singing News subscriptions. (As it stands, Singing News Fan Awards typically go to the groups most effective at encouraging their fan base to subscribe to the magazine and vote in the awards–not necessarily to the group with the most fans.)

Is there a gray area between ethical and unethical where something may be permitted, but is distasteful? I think it is possible, but I’m not really sure where to draw the line. Fortunately, that’s not my responsibility, and I can analyze decisions with the benefit of hindsight.


For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

1 Letter to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. The quote, “(As it stands, Singing News Fan Awards typically go to the groups most effective at encouraging their fan base to subscribe to the magazine and vote in the awards–not necessarily to the group with the most fans.)

    Its a perfect example what goes on in life all the time. We are all in different worlds. We are bombarded with exposure by others wanted action from us.
    We tend to give favor to artists or organizations that we know or attend.
    Many people have limitations to travel or ability to attend concerts. We stay in our little world getting our information by magazines like Singing News, Homecoming or SGScoop magazine.
    Maybe we check our the various sites of the internet.
    Maybe we attend concerts by certian groups or artists. Maybe we attend concerts by certian promoters.
    Same go with SG websites.
    The perfect world we do all of the above.
    Most people select one or a very few of the above by limitation or a lack of knowledge of the big world out there in southern gospel.
    People usually tend to show favor based on their surroundings.
    All awards given by the various SG organtizations are won by artists who do the best job in exposing their ministry to the people in any given segement of the southern gospel music industry.
    It just like in church. We divided by somthering but we have a common bond to Jesus Christ and interest in southern gospel music.