Groupon Creates Its Own…Journalism School?


grouponscreengrab_2010_12

The fastest-growing internet company ever, Groupon is both redefining the e-commerce landscape and, for many writers, making a journalism degree irrelevant. The Atlantic reports that the company has launched a program called Groupon Academy to train staffers to draft the short blurbs that accompany every sale. According to the article, a record 40 writers have been hired on at the site within the past six months to help ease the load–each will be expected to write up to 10 pieces per day.

Groupon screengrab via Mashable

Aside from the Groupon Academy, which is a mandatory training seminar, the site provides longer-term “intensive editorial oversight.” Given, the uber quirky Groupon voice is hard to nail. Here’s an example from a recent waxing coupon: “When hair seeds blow from your head to other bodily regions during the awkward prenatal years, they can sometimes land in unwanted places. Uproot uninvited crabgrass from private property with today’s eradicating Groupon: for $45, you get $100 worth of waxing services at Harmony Skin Care on West Forty-Third Street in Midtown.”

At Groupon, the editorial seems to be as important as the visuals (if not more so) in making local deals appealing to users. And the creation of a specific school for writers certainly illustrates a shift in retail — while online retailers can’t rely on designers to stage unique and eye-catching visuals in their stores, they can rely on writers to nab buyers’ attention with cleverly-written blurbs. As such, Groupon can only be called smart for investing in their writers.