The scandal surrounding Paula Deen seems to have no end in sight. Can she recover from it?
Last week saw some big names ending their deals with disgraced celebrity chef Paula Deen. Walmart, Sears, JC Penney, Walgreens, and others dropped her.
Even her book publisher ended the agreement they had on her unpublished book, which was No. 1 in Amazon’s best sellers list.
As bad as it looks, experts agree that it is not impossible for Deen to come back from the disastrous turn of events caused by her insensitive racial comments from years ago.
Looking back at other celebrity scandals, Martha Stewart came back from being in jail and is doing very well. Everyone seems to have forgotten her fall from grace.
However, Paula Deen has made some mistakes in her quest to earn the American people’s forgiveness.
According to Jim Joseph, the North American president of Cohn & Wolfe, a communications firm,
“She made a fundamental mistake in the beginning by not getting in front of the story.”
His advice to clients is that they are completely transparent and honest about their mistakes.
What gets people in trouble is not necessarily the crime, claims Joseph, but the cover up. He adds that Deen needs to come up with new products and a new show.
“If she goes into seclusion, she’ll really quickly be forgotten,” he said. “And the longer she does that, the harder it is to come back.”
Martha Stewart followed this advice successfully, recording shows while still under house arrest after being convicted of insider trading.
“From a business angle, a business will never risk being associated, even short term, with having the label of being racist,” said Mike Paul, president of MGP & Associates PR, “They will cut you loose first to save their own reputation.”
Now, the PR game is on and it remains to be seen if the chef will use the tools at her disposal wisely. Another week in the saga begins.
Paula Deen has a long road to recovery. Will she make it?
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