Friday, June 21, 2013
Reputations are Created in Years, but Gone In Minutes-- Yes, I'm Talking About Paula Deen
The thing about PR is that you only really notice it when it's bad. Meaning that someone either didn't do it well or none was done at all.
Case in point: Paula Deen. I was critical of her for hiding her diabetes from the public for years while she continued to make recipes that she probably couldn't eat without an insulin shot. But she was smart enough to get a pharmaceutical company endorsement out of it. This time, I don't think there's anyone on the other side of racism that might endorse her.
Paula got sued by a former manager of her Savannah restaurant for using racial slurs, inappropriate language and all kinds of other stuff. The lawsuit was for $1.2 million. Her brand is reportedly worth about $17 million a year. So for about 7 percent of her earnings...THIS YEAR, she could have avoided all this. Hell, if she had good lawyers, she probably could've gotten it for less.
And then there's the PR around the mea culpa tour. Who the hell is doing it for her? You don't say you'll go on to a nationally televised morning show like Today and then back out with no explanation. Not good.
Then she gives a very vague video apology in drag queen make-up. Video apologies suck because they seem totally controlled by the apologizer and not so sincere. This was no different.
Then because that apology sucked, she issues another video apology in front of the giant vat of make-up (see above) probably used to give her that specific shade of Oompa Loompa that is so desired.
At no time does she mention crossing sensitive racial lines. I realize that Paula's in the middle of a court case so she can't admit fault, but let's be honest, she should've just coughed up the money. So, the Food Network decided to "not renew her contract at the end of the month." Either they are constantly undergoing contract negotiations or this was just the best timing in the world for Food Network to have something like this happen.
Because now Jamie and Bobby are probably out of a job too. Hopefully they're just as tight as she is and have been stockpiling away the money so they can be unemployed for a while.
All this to say this: If someone you love finds themselves embroiled in a very sticky,very nasty public relations brouhaha, have them hire someone reputable. Or better yet, have someone they love and respect do them a solid by just telling them to settle!!