In June, Twitter announced it was seeking its first Washington, D.C.-based staffer. Five months later, the social company has hired a government and political partnerships manager, Adam Sharp, who will start working in January.
Sharp hails from C-SPAN, where he has overseen C-SPAN.org editorial content since 2009, and, according to Twitter, "drives enhancements to the network's cable channels, including the increased integration of social media into C-SPAN's public affairs coverage and viewer engagement." He has also served as deputy chief of staff to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and worked as e-business and digitization manager at NBC News.
For Twitter, Sharp is charged with helping lawmakers, politicians, and government staff take better advantage of the micro-blogging site. "Leaving @cspan soon to join @Twitter and help government better communicate w/constituents. Excited to @JoinTheFlock! #gov20," wrote Sharp on his @sharpdc Twitter account today. He added, "Look fwd to working w/learning from #gov20 community & others committed to enhancing civic debate by bringing govt, people closer together."
Twitter previously referred to Sharp's position as a government liaison. Though the firm stresses the job is not a public policy or lobbying role, it appears to be the company's first major 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," explained the government liaison 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 the firm wants to facilitate that usage, particularly if it means fortifying ties 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," noted the job description.
A Twitter spokesperson told ClickZ in June: "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."
Sharp will start at Twitter on Nov. 29 in the company's San Francisco headquarters before moving to his permanent D.C. base in January.
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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.
March 19, 2014