“Hot Coffee” Heats Up Samford University

Hot Coffee, a documentary about Stella Liebeck’s law suit against McDonalds, made it’s way to the campus of Samford University on Tuesday, April 17. With detailed information on the law suit, the final verdict, tort reform, and McDonald’s history of burns, the showing of “Hot Coffee” interested many students and faculty at Samford. Around 90 students showed up to the viewing of the documentary followed by a question and answer session.

Our public relations class was the first to hear about “Hot Coffee” coming to campus. Unfamiliar with the majority  of the details of the case, Stacy Smith, informed the class on the infamous law suit. After seeing a brief 10 minutes of the documentary, we were hooked.

As a class, we worked together along side of Stacy Smith to come up with ways as to how we could get the word out on our campus. Splitting up into different teams, every student in our class played a role in the PR of the documentary showing. From The Crimson to table tents on every cafeteria and food court table, the word was spread.

As students, we knew how to advertise best to our demographic. Posting a lot of information on social media was predicted to be our most effective PR tactic and our hypothesis proved to be right. Putting signs around campus and making announcements at greek life organization meetings also proved to be extremely effective.

With some minor mistakes, lessons on PR were learned by all. Being able to actually implement what we learn in class into the real world of PR was very exciting. It was honor to work along side of Stacy Smith and the rest of the “Hot Coffee” group to spread the word about a documentary that represents a great cause!


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