Oracle starts total comms review with in-house rejig

REDWOOD SHORES, CA: As part of a total communications review,

Oracle is reorganizing its worldwide in-house PR staff, with the goal of

creating an integrated communications network across its regions.



Two new divisions have been added that reflect an increased emphasis on

sales-force communications - as exemplified by recent press coverage of

CEO Larry Ellison out on the sales field himself - and leadership

positioning.



The reshuffle is the first step in a process that will eventually

include a formal global review of agency relationships. PR21 still

handles PR for Oracle's applications business, but Oracle does not have

an AOR since parting ways with Applied Communications last year. James

Finn, VP of corporate communications for Oracle, did not rule out hiring

a firm to handle its global account. "Everything will be assessed," he

explained.



Geduldig & Ferguson helped Oracle with an internal audit of its

strategic communications. Oracle's intent is to create a higher level of

collaboration and consistency in messaging among its PR offices around

the world.



Currently, there are between 75 and 100 global communications staff,

reflecting the dual roles held by some of the individual country leaders

who also handle PR. Agencies are retained in a variety of capacities,

across regions or countries.



"A lot of this has happened because this is how the company has grown

up," explained Finn. "Now we have a return to the basics in PR." Finn

aims to have the new structure in place by June 1, the start of the

company's next fiscal year.



The new organizational chart divides PR into six separate functions,

including product PR; corporate communications; communities, consulting

and education; and international communications.



Internal communications and executive and business communications have

been added for the first time to the headquarters-based functions.



Oracle plans to improve sales-force communications, including providing

information about media and analyst reports that may prompt customer

concerns.



Increasing visibility for senior executives is also a priority.



Oracle has begun interviewing for a director of executive and business

communications. Other senior hires are expected, including a head of

product PR on the applications side.



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