(AllHipHop Features) Priscilla Clarke is an award-winning entrepreneur, celebrated HistoryMaker and one of the leading strategists in her field. She is President and CEO of Clarke & Associates, LLC (C&A), a premiere Public Relations and Entertainment firm located in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA., that specializes in corporate, political, non-profit, music and entertainment innovative strategies and solutions. With a successful career spanning 20 years, she has worked on major campaigns positioning clients in national headlines and world-wide. The elite roster of celebrity talent she has worked with include; Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Tucker, NAS, Solange, The O’Jays, Chuck Brown, Mathew Knowles, Russell Simmon’s HBO Def Comedy Jam, U.S. Dream Academy, Hip Hop Caucus, Wanda Durant; The Real MVP, Celebrity Chef Huda and The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to name a few. She has been honored by; “The HistoryMakers”, International Who’s Who of Entrepreneurs, Fifty Influential Minorities in Business, and Who’s Who Among Black Americans. She serves as a Board member of The Recording Academy (The GRAMMYs) Washington, D.C. Chapter and on the board of directors for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Working in the rigorous world of music and entertainment is not for those of low spirits, drive, and tenacity. Ms. Priscilla Clarke continues to evolve as an executive within the entertainment industry. She gave us some of her time to share the exciting and not so exciting parts of her career and how she remains a big player on the publicity side of music and entertainment.
AllHipHop: Explain what your job entails:
Priscilla Clarke: I lead the team at our premiere Public Relations and Entertainment Firm. I manage the overall operations of the business and oversee client projects and campaigns.
AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties:
Priscilla Clarke: The most enjoyable part of my job is when I see someone get great publicity and they are excited about it and when we secure major exposure for a client that normally wouldn’t get it. I get really get excited when our work impacts a community, an industry, or the world in a positive way which is a core part of our mission.
AllHipHop: What is the hardest part:
Priscilla Clarke: The hardest part of my job is the long hours. Because we also do crisis management, I’m always on the clock. Also, a lot of people don’t realize how much work it is to do PR, they see the glamorous side, us on a red carpet or with high profile clients but don’t understand the 90% of the time and the work it took and preparation for that moment to happen.
AllHipHop: Can you describe a moment of adversity personal and in your career?
Priscilla Clarke: There was a moment in my life 20+ years ago when I had everything, big house, Mercedes, Rolex and was very successful with another business and then several unexpected tragedies hit me at the same time. I ended up losing everything. It took a lot but I had to rise from homelessness and depression and rebuild my life and career. With the strength of God I was able to get up again and as a result ended up finding my passion in PR. So now I know no matter what anyone is going through there is always a chance for it to turn around but you have to have faith and hope and believe in your own dream and success. “Pain To Passion”
AllHipHop: What keeps you from giving up?
Priscilla Clarke: I am very strong in faith and it’s a combination of loving what I do and believing that God will Bless me with more opportunities. I pray specifically every day, with intention. Also seeing how our work impacts people in a positive way keeps me going as well.
AllHipHop: Who inspired you to become a leader or boss?
Priscilla Clarke: I always had a drive and determination to be an entrepreneur and ironically I just realized recently why as I looked back in my family history and childhood my first inspiration was my family, my father, mom and my grandfather we’re all entrepreneurs and they truly inspired me thru their example and work ethic. In the business world, Oprah and Cathy Hughes (Radio One, TV One, Urban One, Founder, Chairperson) really inspired me early on and they both continue to do so. Oprah once said, “Run Your Own Race” and I take that seriously.
AllHipHop: How do you balance work and personal life?
Priscilla Clarke: It’s difficult, but I have found you have to make a commitment to yourself each day. A lot of my job is being out, social, at events, so for me quiet time at home helps my harmony and balance. Or just taking the time to stop and reflect on life and really being present in family moments is critical and something I had to learn.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do for fun?
Priscilla Clarke: Going to the Ocean is my favorite thing to do in L.A. I also love comedy shows, having worked with Russell Simmons HBO Def Comedy Jam, I learned that laughter is important. I truly believe “Comedy can Heal the Soul.” I also love bike riding and hanging out with friends, having quality time and memorable life moments is also a big one.
AllHipHop: Please provide what it means to you to be a powerful woman and a boss in the urban music and hip-hop industry.
Priscilla Clarke: I feel very Blessed to work in the music industry. I’ve worked with many artists over the years including some of the biggest names in the industry. I am also honored to serve on the Board of The Recording Academy (The GRAMMYs) representing the Washington, D.C Chapter, which allows me the opportunity to help artists and the industry in other important ways including advocacy and artist rights. I have had so many life experiences and great moments I would have never dreamed of and for that, I am so thankful and humbled by. It’s important to me that I have been put in a position of power and purpose, to effect change, impact industries and make a positive difference in some way in the world and many times it’s through some of the philanthropic work our celebrity clients and artists do.
AllHipHop: Final Thoughts or words of advice?
Priscilla Clarke: DO YOU!!! Dream Big!!! Know that the sky is truly the limit, you can achieve whatever you want no matter what your circumstances, up bringing, life setbacks, just start each day, make it a new beginning with one step towards your goal and no matter what, Believe in Your Dream and the possibilities. Just go for it and if you fail just get back up again, and know that as long as you are still alive, you have another chance to change your circumstances and sometimes change or opportunity comes when you least expect it.