Companies and the reporters who cover them routinely find themselves at odds, particularly when the stories being chased are unflattering or bring unwanted attention to a business’s dealings, or, in the company’s estimation, simply inaccurate.
Many companies fight back, which is why crisis communications is a very big and lucrative business. Still, how a company fights back matters. And according to crisis communications pros who TechCrunch spoke with this afternoon, a new post on Oracle’s corporate blog misses the mark, as did the company’s related follow-up on social media.
In fact, the author of the post, an Oracle executive named Ken Glueck, a 25-year-long veteran of the company, has been temporarily suspended by Twitter, the company told Gizmodo this afternoon, after encouraging his followers to harass a female reporter.
The trouble ties to a series of pieces by the news site The Intercept about how a “network of local resellers helps funnel Oracle technology to the police and military in China,” and Oracle’s response to the pieces.
While it isn’t uncommon for companies to post responses to media stories on their own platforms (as well as to take out ads in mainstream media outlets), the crisis execs with whom we spoke — they asked not to be named as they work with companies like Oracle — had some observations that might be helpful to Oracle in the future.
Rule number one: don’t draw attention unnecessarily to work that you might prefer…