Oracle completes global PR revamp prompted by media negativity

REDWOOD SHORES, CA - Oracle's PR division has completed its international reorganization, and has changed its name to corporate communications.

REDWOOD SHORES, CA - Oracle's PR division has completed its international reorganization, and has changed its name to corporate communications.

The company is also adopting new strategies to work in what it considers an increasingly hostile media environment.

James Finn, VP of worldwide corporate communications, launched an internal audit in February, with the help of Geduldig & Ferguson. Analyst relations (AR) and customer references (CR) divisions are the structure's newest additions.

In a memo to staff, Finn said that Oracle's "top 15" countries (based on license revenue and strategic importance) will have dedicated PR, AR, and CR teams, reporting to regional heads, who will in turn report to Dave Samson, VP of international PR. Countries outside of the top 15 will not have dedicated PR resources, but will be supported regionally.

Finn also addressed how Oracle's external profile is created. "Our profile in the media is a direct result of the many voices in the 'echo chamber,'" he said in the memo. "To be successful, we must direct our communications effort in a way that favorably impacts and persuades these audiences to understand, accept, and reinforce our messages.

"The 'echo chamber' concept has gotten real legs with Larry Ellison and the senior management," Finn added. "The plan was to increase collaboration and consistent messaging around the world. Until now, we've never had a fully centralized communications system."

Finn said the company has been dismayed with some of the recent media coverage it has gotten, which he said is unfairly negative. He said Oracle would not be as keen to work with reporters who take a one-sided view of the company.

Oracle was under intense scrutiny recently over a contract with the state of California. "We have rights in this relationship. If you ignore these rights, we will hold you accountable, and we will push back," he said.

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