By Nicole Roman, Account Executive
It’s been a little over a year since Paula Deen’s racism scandal brought her multi-million dollar culinary empire tumbling down. Her reputation was damaged because of the way she responded to allegations of racism and demeaning treatment to one of her employees, a long time cook. Her messy attempt at damage control made things worse and the handling of it was just so bad. Deen was the poster child of what not to do when a controversy comes knocking on your door. She was emotional rather than logical. She talked too much instead of being silent. And she should have gotten in front of the issue instead of portraying herself as the victim. Dean finally got her apology right on Today. She said she was sorry and took ownership of her words. “My words hurt people,” Deen said.
How does a person recover from this kind of crisis?
People love to forgive and see comebacks. Some very well known celebrity scandals, such as Martha Stewart, golf champion Tiger Woods and former President Bill Clinton have all made comebacks. What do all of these crises have in common- a crisis management plan. A strategic and strong PR counsel can guide their client to take the right steps to mitigate crisis, to apologize and to articulate how he or she will make amends. Deen is back in the saddle and revamping her brand and her business. She’s moving her empire online and launching a network that is subscription based which will include footage from her Food Network show that she bought the rights to and new content and appearances.
“I’m back y’all!”