By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Carrie Prejean became a hero to conservative Christians by voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage at the Miss USA pageant, and as the media interview requests have poured in, she is operating as a distinctly Christian celebrity. I've learned that Prejean has hired one of the country's premier Christian PR firms, A. Larry Ross Communications—which represents such evangelical powerhouses as Rick Warren, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—to be her "agency of record," according to Kristin Cole, the firm's manager of account services.
Cole tells me that Prejean sought advice from her pastor, Miles McPherson of the Rock Church in San Diego, about how to keep up with the avalanche of interview requests that her Miss USA appearance provoked. McPherson, a nationally known evangelist, recommended his friend A. Larry Ross.
More on Ross from a 2006 New York Times Magazine profile:
In 1981, Ross began working with the evangelist Billy Graham and trailblazing the new world of Christian P.R. Ross has counseled Graham through the Nixon-tapes crisis (Graham was heard voicing anti-Semitic sentiments to the president) and helped keep him squeaky clean during the televangelist scandals of the 80's. And earlier this month, when Graham made the New York Times extended best-seller list with his book "The Journey," Ross could be heard pitching him as the oldest author ever on the list. Ross has also represented T. D. Jakes, the African-American pastor whom Ross says he signed when he was "Bishop Who," and films like the prophetic end-times "Left Behind" series and "The Prince of Egypt." For the latter, an animated movie that came out in 1998, he helped pioneer some of the contemporary church-marketing techniques that were used later to promote Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." Ross has largely stayed out of politics, but he did sign up Rod Parsley's Center for Moral Clarity in 2004; Parsley, a rising evangelical, is not publicly aligned with a political party, but he worked to mobilize voters in the swing state of Ohio, which went for George Bush in the last election.
Ross is not the sole powerful figure in Christian P.R., but only Mark DeMoss, who worked with Jerry Falwell for eight years before starting the DeMoss Group in Atlanta in 1991, enjoys comparable status.