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Posts Tagged ‘Paula Deen’

Paula Deen Cooks Up Some PR, Launches Her Own Network


These people are the ones Paula Deen is totally banking on for PR-ofit

ICYMI: Despite her soulful appeal and her habit of cooking with fat, grease, and butter, Paula Deen wasn’t the most sensitive celebrity when it came to non-white people. To wit, she made an enemy of (most of) America, lost her Food Network affiliation, lost dozens of endorsements, and kissed most of her credibility goodbye.

She did, however, keep a surprising number of her fans. So, following a failed ‘Today Show’ apology, Paula Deen drifted into the easy bake oven in the sky…or so it seemed.

Now she’s back, y’all — and she’s hoping to cash in with a new paid venture.

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Mediabistro Course

Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!

Paula Deen’s Comeback Goes Down Smooth Like a Shot of Tequila


Can we call her a tippler?

We can’t say which lessons Paula Deen learned from her recent “is it racist” scandal, but maintaining a sense of public decorum doesn’t seem to be one of them. That’s OK, though; subtlety has never been her style.

Deen recently made her first post-scandal appearance at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival after securing $100 million for Paula Deen Ventures, which will focus on selling her own material and original content rather than licensing her name and likeness to others.

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Our 26 Biggest Stories of 2013, Part One

High fivin' sunbeams

High fiving sunbeams and eating dolphins, bro

They came. They saw. They made you click. They were our biggest stories of the year.

These posts were alternately embarrassing, inspiring, thought-provoking and barely comprehensible—but they attracted the most attention from our readers for reasons that we don’t always understand.

In fact, there were so many great ones in 2013 that we decided to double the original total of 13 to 26. What’s that, you ask? Of course we’re not splitting the list in half in order to get more posts up during the holiday season. What a ridiculous question!

On to the list, which we dedicate to our faithful readers. Let’s hope the news of stunts, mistakes and misdeeds gets a little brighter in 2014 (yeah, right).

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Top 7 ‘PR Case Study’ Names We Never Want to Hear in 2014


You may have missed it (lucky you), but lots of PR-ready news stories went down this year. Some were ridiculous, some were inspiring, some were cringe-worthy “teaching moments” and some were held up as “let’s figure out how this person got so successful so we can quantify it” case studies. We posted on every one of them at some point, and for that we offer our profoundest apologies—but they were trending at the time, and this is how the blog game works.

Here’s the point: after performing some in-depth research, we decided that 2013 gave us more than enough news and analysis regarding these seven people, and we’d prefer to hear absolutely nothing about them in 2014. In fact, we think we can distill the “lessons” learned from each case into a single sentence.

Click through for what we hope will be one last glimpse at those who have (almost) nothing to teach the rest of us.

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Paula Deen Returns To a Standing Ovation In Texas After Her, Ahem, ‘Rough Patch’

Has it really been three months since Paula Deen wept her way through a Today show apology? On Saturday, she was shedding tears of joy during her first public appearance at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Houston. All while she received a standing ovation.

“Y’all’s hearts are as big as your state,” she told the crowd.

Calling her carnival of disaster a “rough patch,” the disgraced celebrity chef was in town to host a couple of cooking demonstrations. Some tickets to the event ran up to $400 a pop. There were about 1,400 people in the audience during the warm welcome.

Scandal inspiration Judy Smith orchestrated Deen’s rescheduled Today show appearance back in June, and likely advised Deen to keep quiet for a while so the furor over her use of a racial slur could die down. During her time out of the spotlight, a federal judge tossed the racial discrimination case against Deen and she settled the remaining litigation with Lisa Jackson. So the comeback has begun.

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Case Dismissed: Paula Deen Will Live to Fry Another Day

Today in Sue Me, It’s Monday news, we have no doubt that Donald Trump will continue arguing that his for-profit university is a legitimate business and that the suit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman against Trump University is some sort of political witch hunt. But the year’s second least surprising lawsuit has been resolved with only one reputation ruined.

The racial discrimination/sexual harassment case filed against one Paula Deen by a former employee is no more after all involved reached an agreement “without any award of costs or fees to any party.”

Sounds like a win for Paula, right? Not really.

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Religious Scholar Takes Fox News to PR School

Who knows, maybe this is exactly what Fox News wanted all along. The brand is seemingly incapable of internalizing bad PR the way giraffes don’t feel any need to apologize for the economy in Greece. It just doesn’t register.

How else could you explain Fox News willfully arranging an interview between author, historian, academic, religious scholar and expert on Christianity Reza Aslan—who is also a practicing Muslim—and the network’s feckless “Spirited Debate” correspondent Lauren Green. It was a mismatch. Not like a plaid shirt and striped pants, but like Paula Deen and southern history.

Watch the video above. It’s self-explanatory. And it’s sad. Saying a Muslim could never be qualified to write about Christianity is like saying a Mexican chef couldn’t possibly cook Italian food. Perhaps Ms. Green should go out to dinner more and visit the kitchen. She and Paula Deen could go together; they’d probably love each other’s company.

Once again, the public voted its sentiment with its money. So it’s no surprise, at Fox News’ chagrin of course, that the very book the network tried to demonize is riding a wave of public support and enjoying rising sales. But that doesn’t mean the confrontation surrounding Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is over. Its value is being debated in that most academic of theological platforms: the Amazon comment section.


Pat O’Brien Tells How to Survive a Public Scandal: Admit, Apologize, Advance

Pat O'BrienGiven their recent cringe-worthy non-apologies, perhaps Serena Williams and Paula Deen can learn something about handling public scandals from Pat O’Brien, co-host of Fox Sports Primetime.

O’Brien suffered his share of embarrassment back in 2005, when the drunken voice-mail messages he left a woman were leaked onto the Internet. Now, he’s more than willing to dish out some advice on how to rebound.

“I say this all the time: the best way to handle if you did something is to admit it. Cover-ups always worsen the crime. And we’re talking about low-level scandals here, obviously, not murder or anything. I always say the three A’s: admit, apologize, advance,” he told Mediabistro for its So What Do You Do? interview. “I talk to a lot of people in trouble — politicians, celebrities — they will call me and ask what to do. And that’s what I tell them. Get in front of the first camera you can find and admit it if you did it. And apologize to somebody and move on.”

For the full interview, read So What Do You Do, Pat O’Brien, Co-Host of Fox Sports Primetime?


‘Dancing With The Stars’: Where Bad Reputations Go To Be Revived. But Why?

Kellie Pickler accepting the Mirrorball Trophy as winner of this year’s ‘DWTS.’

After the craptastic couple of weeks Paula Deen had, where in the world would she go? Disneyland? Home to Savannah? Off the grid to the outback of Australia maybe? No. Dancing With the Stars.

Word is that Paula Deen could be on the next season of the dance program. The Huffington Post went to ABC directly with the rumor. Their response: “We don’t comment on casting until we officially announce.”

As that story points out, DWTS has a history of bringing on controversial stars. Kate Gosselin and Bristol Palin are noted. In an interview with Rob Shuter that we’ve previously linked to, Jon Gosselin, now reeling from accusations that he’s responsible for the fall of the house of Ed Hardy, says he would consider a spot on the show.

In fact, the show has become a place for both exposure and redemption. Andy Dick, who has been arrested for allegedly dabbling in drugs and groping underage girls, was on this season. Nancy Grace, known for her bombast on HLN as much as her “journalism,” was on a previous season. David Hasselhoff, whose drinking problem reportedly cost him a television job and fueled an appearance on Entertainment Tonight in a home video shot by his then-16-year-old daughter, has also been on the show.

So what is it about DWTS that brings out everyone in need of, not just a career revival, but a reputation revival?

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Second Serving: Serena Williams Shows Paula Deen How to Apologize

REUTERS/Sergio MoraesThe entire country watched in horror this month as Paula Deen’s deep-fried, butter-soaked career came crashing down in a mess of outrageous statements and one of the most painful non-apologies we’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.

Mrs. Deen’s fall was so epic, in fact, that it distracted us from another perfectly served case study in poor media relations. This one came courtesy of clay court champ Serena Williams, who ruined what should have been a complimentary Rolling Stone profile with a few ill-advised comments and a passive-aggressive “apology.”

While visiting a nail salon with reporter Stephen Rodrick, Williams saw a news report about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case that sent two high school football stars to jail and led to a PR fail for CNN when anchors Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley appeared to express more sympathy for the rapists than their victim.

Serena said of the perpetrators: “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know.” Beyond classifying the rape of a 16-year-old girl as “something stupid” and wondering whether the offenders were punished too harshly, Williams also had some less-than-flattering words for the victim:

“I’m not blaming the girl, but…why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? She’s lucky… she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Did she really need to throw a “but” in there?

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