An Open Letter to the Groundhog on His Impending PR Crisis

by Ken Mueller on March 9, 2012 · 11 comments

Punxsutawney PhilWe’ve been hearing a lot lately about various PR crises, from Rush Limbaugh to CVS to Carnival Cruise Lines.

Every time we turn around, someone is getting in trouble because of the way they are (or aren’t) using social media. Either they are saying something stupid, or not responding to negative comments, or not apologizing properly (or at all), or having some other break down in communication.

Now, it seems as though one of our most popular cultural icons is in a bit of hot water: Punxsutawney Phil.

No, our groundhog friend didn’t open his mouth and make some embarrassing political statement. He also didn’t insult women, or a particular race. But he is in trouble.

Thankfully, I’m here to help, and I’m offering my services to our four legged meteorological prognosticator before his little problem gets out of hand.


Here is a screen shot of the Punxsutawney Phil Facebook page, showing that I’m not the only one complaining that Phil got it wrong, and as you can see, there has been no response; no engagement. A big social media no-no.

Punxsutawney Phil Facebook Page

And feel free to check out his website. In the video I mentioned that there was no mention of his current prediction on the site.

I stand corrected.

After I recorded the video I went to the site, and they just uploaded a picture of the prediction. On Thursday. March 8th. FIVE WEEKS after the prediction was made; in the midst of 70 degree weather. It wasn’t there the day before…

Yes, Phil. I’m here for you when you’re ready for my help.




 Social media can be tricky.  Hopefully the person/company responding has common sense as I think that is the first basic.

Company policy should have been developed followed by social media training. As those elements are in place I would think the majority of it is covered just short of developing a social media campaign.


You have issues. I for one, an glad the oversized rodent was wrong. This is a cool post for a Friday though, and good to see you making use of the porch!

KenMueller moderator

 @NancyD68 I have issues? and enjoyed it. enjoy issues?

KenMueller moderator

 @Anthony_Rodriguez Ha. Actually, closer to home we have Octorara Orphie, who I think got it right this year. Then again, Orphie is a stuffed groundhog on a stick....

KenMueller moderator

 @C_Pappas Yeah, we might get hammered again, but I doubt it. I'm ok with no snow. I'm not like @ginidietrich . I like mild winters and hate the cold. Mostly that's due to wanting to keep the heating bill down. 

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