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Good call. “Paula Deen’s PR rep quits over chef’s ‘business strategy’.” via @markraganCEO http://ow.ly/8IZX7 #pr #publicrelations #clients

UPDATE: my thoughts on the Paula Deen news

After I shared this link, a friend of mine asked if I thought Paula Deen was right in disclosing her healthcare battles. First, I always think it is best to err on the side of authenticity, being genuine, and sharing honestly. So I definitely think Ms. Deen made the right choice.

Here is where I (and probably her PR rep) have concerns:

  • Her brand aside from her Southern charm (and I love that Southern drawl) is her cooking. She’s made all her money from the “butta” and “shugar”. Unfortunately, the recipes she promotes have likely contributed to her Type II diabetes. From my limited knowledge, I understand Type II to be reversible and often brought on my an unhealthy lifestyle as compared to Type I that is not caused by diet but rather a person’s body chemistry.
  • There is something counter-intuitive to someone saying “Buy this diabetes drug” right after they’ve told me to make a rich breakfast with lots of “see-rup”. Either own your Type II diabetes and your cooking OR
  • Change both. Work to improve your health so that you no longer have Type II and simultaneously use your brand power to educate others and update your recipes to be aimed at healthyier eating. (If Paula is being authentic, she will never be a healthy food cook but she could improve the nutritional value of her food.)

Bottom line: I don’t think it’s wise to contribute to the poor health of yourself and those who follow your brand, and advocate for the medicine to treat the disease instead of trying to reverse the problem.

What do you think? Was Paula Deen right to disclose? What her PR rep right to quit?