As Twitter Chairman Jack Dorsey prepares to unveil a new mobile payment system to politicos, the company seeks its first D.C.-based employee.
The Government Liaison position appears to be the company's attempt at establishing stronger connections on Capitol Hill, as well as with political candidates using Twitter for their campaigns. "You'll help set the culture and approach of a fledgling public policy department and be an important part of our very small company," explains the job description, posted on Twitter's jobs site.
Twitter has become an increasingly integral component of political social media campaigns, so it comes as no surprise that the firm want to facilitate that usage, particularly if it means fortifying bonds with lawmakers and potential lawmakers who could eventually affect Twitter's business plans. "You'll help Twitter understand what we can do to better serve candidates and policymakers across party and geographical lines. You'll support policymakers['] use of Twitter to help them communicate and interact with their constituents and the world," notes the description.
"We are seeing strong growth of government, policy and political usage of Twitter and we want to help officials get the most out of our service to better communicate with constituents," a Twitter spokesperson told ClickZ in an e-mail.
The company hopes the new staffer will boost political use of its service, as well as develop best practices for it.
While Twitter is calling the Government Liaison gig its first job officially based in D.C., Dorsey has been establishing his own beltway connections. He plans to introduce a mobile payment system, Square, to Washington insiders and supporters of Tommy Sowers, a Democrat running in Missouri's 8th congressional district, at a campaign fundraiser tonight at a D.C. restaurant and bar.
Square is a magnetic device that works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Nexus One, and Droid devices. It plugs into the headphone jack of the device, and acts like a tiny credit card swipe machine. Though it has obvious commercial potential, political campaigners are already buzzing about its uses for in-person fundraising.
"Online fundraising has always been hampered by the fact that the best asks are done face-to-face. Now we can have our people make those face-to-face asks...and actually be able to finish the conversion during the conversation," said Josh Koster, managing partner at digital consulting firm Chong + Koster, which is working with the Sowers campaign. "Square is the future of grassroots fundraising. It turns every canvasser into a fundraiser," he added.
According to tonight's event invite, the Sowers campaign is already using the Square system. "What better way to unveil the future of grassroots fundraising than through a fundraiser for a true grassroots candidate," declares the e-mail invitation. Howard Dean, former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman, and Clinton White House staffer Paul Begala are also expected to attend.
Attendees can pay at the door through the Square system; the cost is $50 - or $25 for those 25 and under.
Chances are Twitter Government Liaison hopefuls could be in attendance at the Sowers fundraiser. According to the job listing, candidates should have at least three years experience working in government or with politicians.
Twitter is also hiring an Internet Marketing Manager.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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