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January 8, 2011
Smudging Tibet: A Groupon
Groupon's Super Bowl commercial appearing to trivialize Tibet has produced, among many other reactions, a critique of the web company's approach to crisis communication. On her Honestly blog, Cindy Ronzoni isn't impressed by Groupon's response, and we don't blame her. Cindy suggests a more relational version, which deserves attention by PR people as a crisis corrective.

Cindy feels Groupon should have owned up to its mistake and been more forthright in explaining it, instead of, as founder Andrew Mason put it, "taking a crack at why we created this campaign." Groupon will no doubt survive this incident, but it's an example of a clumsy corporate presentation before a vast audience followed by a botched explanation. This Web genius has a bit yet to learn about PR. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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