The Return of Butter Queen Paula Deen

​By Amy Derjue, Senior Account Executive After a spring filled with one public relations crisis after another, Paula Deen’s redemption tour began this weekend in Houston, Texas. The queen of Southern cuisine made her first public appearance since June at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining show. The audience, which paid to see a cooking demonstration from Deen, gave her a standing ovation, reports the Houston Chronicle. It was certainly was one of the smarter public relations move Deen has made since bungling the response to a lawsuit in which she admitted to using racial epithets, ultimately costing Deen her Food Network show and several valuable endorsement deals. (The lawsuit has since been dismissed.) She appeared before an audience that was willing to plunk down as much as $400 to see her cook live. Subsequent positive media coverage was a given. As Solomon McCown President Ashley McCown suggested in a video rundown of the Top 10 PR Crises of the first half of 2013, Deen wisely kept a low profile for a few months to let the controversy die down. But McCown also predicted, “Paula Deen will be back. It’s just a matter of time.” While Deen may have taken the first step to proving the public is willing to forgive her, it remains to be seen if her corporate sponsors are willing to take another chance on her. Is Deen just testing public sentiment, or is she ready to relaunch her career? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter: @SMCCrisisPR. Learn more about our crisis PR services.

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