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Public Relations, Technology

What Groupon Teaches Us…

The Groupon Fiasco

What does Groupon CEO’s failure teach us about corporate communications?

According to Daniel Rolle for The Huffington Post:

This fear is exhausting and completely unsustainable. In order to retain a sense of proportion (and a shred of sanity), corporate communicators must overhaul this paranoid, hysteric model in favour of a measured and compassionate one that accepts failure as an inevitable part of any human endeavor.

I agree with Rolle’s article; he makes a great point about the need for communications professionals to be less consumed by the stress of a negative Youtube video, for example, and simultaneously be more willing to embrace human error.

What I find rather disturbing (from a PR perspective) is the nonchalance with which Groupon responded to concerns regarding their financial statements. According to SpinSucks, Groupon responded to criticism by stating that they were a new company that is going to make mistakes, because they do not know what they are doing. You can imagine this did not make shareholders very happy, neither did the drop in stock prices that led to the replacement of Mason.

What we can take away from Mason’s memo is that his final words demonstrate a level of honesty and transparency that we should all strive for in our communication.

For fun:

Reading CEO and founder Andrew Mason’s memo to Groupon employees reminded me of a favorite movie of mine: Elizabethtown. I quote Kirsten Dunst: “You failed, you failed, you failed… you failed!” (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the scene.)

Groupon’s greatest PR gaffes, blunders, and missteps (Thanks, PR Daily)

What do you think? Post a comment.

Like my blog? Connect on Twitter @AESmith03

About Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a public relations student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Amanda is currently the V.P. of Public Relations on the Panhellenic Council executive board. She is also involved with PRSSA and Hill Communications, a student-run public relations firm.


One thought on “What Groupon Teaches Us…

  1. Poor Groupon. What an interesting case study in what not to do. I feel sorry for Andrew Mason. He had this great idea and was in the right place at the right time, but he was too inexperienced to pivot the business to make it last. It’ll be interesting to see what Lefskofsky and the other board members do to help it survive…if they do at all.

    Posted by ginidietrich | March 4, 2013, 8:11 AM

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