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How Not To Do Crisis Communication

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April 30, 2021

An Oracle exec’s posts on the corporate blog and follow-up on social media has brought unwanted attention to the company, and the executive’s suspension by Twitter. Oracle’s problems began with a series of articles on the news site The Intercept about how a “network of local resellers helps funnel Oracle technology to the police and military in China.” Oracle took exception to both articles. Rule number one in crisis communications –  Don’t draw unnecessary attention to the crisis, but the executive’s post about the first Intercept story hyperlinks to the article and even shares its title: “How Oracle Sells Repression in China.” Rule two: Don’t attack reporters; attack the outlet. But the executive referred to the reporter by name and invited readers of Oracle’s blog to contact him about her at a secure email address. In a statement, the reporter notes that the executive has attacked her personally, but fails to refute her central finding, which is that the company markets its analytics software for use by police in China.

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