Faster than a Tweet: Twitter & Edelman Part Ways

Steve’s breakdown: Here we go again. When this account went in to review in August I said in our breakdown then: “The fact that this account exists is surprising enough. Even fishy if you ask me but it’s probably just very complicated.” Will they hire a new firm? I’d go in-house if I were them but don’t let that stop you from checking it out

NEW YORK, NY: Faster than you can type a 140-character tweet, the relationship between Twitter and PR giant Edelman is over.

Twitter hired Edelman in September, after an agency review during which shops were asked to come up with ways to help educate consumers about the social network.

The relationship went south within a few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, largely because of management changes at Twitter.

“We were asked to present some ideas on how they could engage consumers,” one Edelman executive told Ad Age. “We did what we were asked and sort of moved on. It wasn’t material for our [West Coast] operations, let alone Edelman. It would not have a been a large account for us or for anyone other than a very small boutique. It was less about the money than the opportunity to work with Twitter.”

The split coincided with the departure of Twitter’s first VP-consumer marketing, Pam Kramer, a former E-Trade exec, along with a number of other senior executives. It’s understood that the initial review came out of a mandate by Ms. Kramer, who joined Twitter in July. Her LinkedIn profile says Ms. Kramer left in October. Twitter communications lead Sean Garrett left shortly after her.

It doesn’t appear that Twitter intends to replace Edelman, which prompts the question of whether the company needed a big PR firm in the first place. It has 100 million global users and is likely mentioned thousands of times daily in press reports worldwide, so the notion that it needs assistance seems unlikely.

Karen Wickre, editorial director at Twitter, declined to comment.

After nine years at Google, Ms. Wickre took on the newly created role in October, shortly after Ms. Kramer’s exit. Ms. Wickre told All Things D that her role “will involve a fair amount of wordsmithing as well as nurturing a consistent Twitter voice across our public messages and information pages.”

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