SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter has hired Sean Garrett, partner of 463 Communications, as its first VP of communications, where he will be tasked with building an in-house communications team for the social network.
Garrett, who helped launch 463 in December 2004, will transition to the role in April. He had been acting as a consultant to Twitter for the last few months through his role at 463, a Next Fifteen communications consultancy.
Twitter will discontinue working with 463 after Garrett comes onboard, he told PRWeek. The popular startup doesn't work with any other PR agencies and no immediate reviews are planned, he added.
“I'm going to focus on building an in-house team,” Garrett said, adding he is looking to hire three positions “right away.” The team will focus on communications strategy, messaging, and media relations.
Biz Stone, Twitter cofounder, has acted as the company's primary spokesperson and will continue as to be the public face of Twitter.
“Biz is the torch bearer of Twitter's brand,” Garrett said. “He plays a critical role - from his blog posts, to the internal culture, to his traveling around the world to speak eloquently about Twitter.”
Stone did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Twitter has been criticized by the communications industry in the past for dismissing PR, so Garrett's hire signals a shift in its approach.
“The reality is Twitter has grown incredibly fast,” Garret said. “But from a communications, perspective we have been very reactive. And any good communications program is very proactive and can get ahead of the message and define itself on its own terms.”
In many ways, he added, Twitter's communications approach will resemble what it has been so far.
“Authentic and transparent,” Garrett said. “But hopefully more responsive and proactive.”
Last year, Twitter hired a communications associate. Garrett is its second communications hire, he said.