Belmont University’s Dr. Kevin S. Trowbridge, assistant professor of public relations, was the featured speaker during the July 10 professional development luncheon for the Memphis chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Around 100 public relations and communication professionals gathered at the University Club to hear Trowbridge analyze and discuss the communication strategies used by celebrity chef Paula Deen. Trowbridge analyzed the Southern chef’s public relations crisis that resulted from Deen’s three-word admission to having used a racial slur that ignited a public firestorm.
Trowbridge’s presentation was titled, “When the Kitchen Gets Too Hot: Public Relations Lessons from Paula Deen’s Crisis Cookbook.” He reminded attendees of the power of local new media and that social media have empowered individual consumers as important participants in the court of public opinion. Further, he concluded that the principles of public relations remain steadfast and more important than ever during times of crisis.
Trowbridge advises Tower Creative Consultants, the student-run public relations firm of Belmont’s award-winning chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America. He is the chair-elect for the PRSA Southeast District.