It has been announced that Paula Deen is prepping her comeback. Less than a year after her disastrous issue-made-crisis on account of her serious lack of proper crisis management, Deen has created a new company, Paula Deen Ventures, which is reported to be backed by Phoenix-based investor, Jahm Najafi.
With Steven Nanula appointed CEO of Paula Deen Ventures and multi millions (reported to be between $75 and $100 million) in backing from Najafi Media, this new team has high hopes for making this new enterprise “successful and valuable”.
“I couldn’t imagine a better partner than Jahm Najafi, with his track record of success. Jahm’s vision, attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit will help us grow to new heights,” says Deen. “Jahm and Steve are both so well respected as leaders. I know this is the right decision to lead my team, as we continue to share quality products with my fans – whose love and support have built my brands,” adds Deen. (source: businesswire.com)
Will Deen’s comeback be successful?
On the plus side for Deen, she does still have a plethora of loyal fans eagerly awaiting what’s to come – not to mention a huge bankroll of millions to help her launch her new enterprise. But even with these millions in backing, last year’s terrible blunder will not soon be forgotten. You can’t erase a lack of leadership in a crisis and a complete and total let-down that resulted in millions worth of lost partnerships.
Deen certainly has an uphill battle ahead of her and we can tell you this: another scandal and another failed attempt at crisis management – even issues management at this point – will not be survived.
We can only hope that Deen’s terrible lack of proper and effective crisis management last year has taught her two very important lessons: to get crisis media trained and to work with a crisis management firm to develop a solid crisis management plan in case of any future gaffes – or worse.
What do you think?
Will Paula Deen’s comeback be successful? Or did last year’s crisis bury her too deep?
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Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.