Posted: March 12, 2014, 2:22 p.m.
by Addison Viani.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen is well-known for her deep-fried, southern cooking, soul food. Her recipes and southern ways have created an empire for herself and her sons. Paula Deen Foods has now become a recognized brand seen in select stores all over the country. She has built this brand simply on the basis of fried food, lots of butter and southern charm. Everyone ate it up.
Paula now has 14 cookbooks, a large line of cookware products, spices, sauces and has recently come out with a furniture line. Nothing seemed to be getting in the way of Paula’s thriving business. Unfortunately, her fame and fortune came with a large price that was hard to pay off.
Paula’s deep-fried crisis began June 2013 when she was sued for both racial discrimination and sexual harassment within her restaurants. The next four months were filled with trials, tears and a countless number of unsuccessful public relations efforts.
Despite several failed attempts to win back the loyalty of her partnerships and fans, Paula has recently reemerged with a new and improved outlook regarding the past events.
Paula has taken several steps toward rebuilding her empire and giving it her all to showcase that sweet, southern charm we know and love. Here are a few of the simple public relations efforts Paula has taken that finally have her moving down the road to recovery.
Paula seemed to fall off the radar a few months after the scandal, which was a smart move. She was out of the spotlight for a while and was not very active on any of her social media outlets. Being silent and simply “waiting it out” allowed for some of the deep wounds to heal.
No matter how much time has gone by since the crisis, Paula has made sure to utter the words “I’m sorry” in her recent public appearances. She was given a lot of flack regarding her apologies (or lack there of), but has since made sure to make an effort to change.
A recent article in USA Today said, “…private investment firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million to $100 million to help her make a comeback. As part of the deal, she’s launching an umbrella company, Paula Deen Ventures, that will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks and product endorsements.” Paula is indeed looking forward. She is focused on strengthening her current partnerships and has finally started to get back to what she does best, cook.
Although Paula’s beginning public relations strategies were a recipe for disaster, she is now taking it a day at a time and building back the relationships she once had. I think Paula will have a successful career ahead of her, and her current partners will continue their support. Her recipes will continue to win over people’s hearts, no matter how much butter she adds.