Groupon’s stock might not be worth all that much, but its PR people aren’t as stupid as they want you to think they are.
“Groupon Celebrates Presidents Day by Honoring Alexander Hamilton,” its latest press release blares. “Starting tomorrow, Groupon will be kicking off Presidents Day weekend by giving customers 10 dollars off 40 dollars when they purchase a deal for any local business.”
And then comes the money quote:
The $10 bill, as everyone knows, features President Alexander Hamilton — undeniably one of our greatest presidents and most widely recognized for establishing the country’s financial system.
Sounds like somebody used a Groupon to find a history tutor, right? Not really. Suspicious that this deliberate display of shocking ignorance might just be a ploy to draw attention to its press release — thereby drawing attention to its Presidents Day deal — I e-mailed Erin Yeager, the author of the release and one of Groupon’s “communication specialists.”
“I have a question about your Presidents Day press release,” I wrote. “Was the reference to Alexander Hamilton as one of America’s greatest presidents inadvertent, or was that deliberately done in the hopes that the error might make the release go viral and expose more people to Groupon’s deal this weekend?”
To her credit, Yeager replied almost immediately:
We’re big supporters of celebrating great American presidents.
So are we, Ms. Yeager. So are we.
— Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) February 14, 2014