Paid To Tweet

twitterGov. Chris Christie has hired a director of new media to promote his official Twitter account and handle blogger outreach, among other responsibilities. Patrick Jones said he will report to Communications Director Maria Comella, whom he met while both were working on the presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Comella, reached for comment Wednesday evening, said Jones is assigned to the governor’s official Web site, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, incorporating videos onto Youtube — “anything that you would consider new media today.”

Information on his salary was not available Wednesday.

Jones, a 25-year-old New York City resident who said he is in the process of moving to New Jersey, sent an introductory e-mail to bloggers on Wednesday morning describing his new job. Reached afterward by telephone, Jones said he is reluctant to talk about himself.

“I’m really not trying to get stories written about me,” said Jones, who was working for a public relations agency prior to attaining the job with Christie.

“My main goal is working with the bloggers,” he added.

Jones’ hiring reflects a changed media landscape in which elected officials increasingly are turning to social networking and other new media to convey their message.

Comella said that new media was successfully utilized during Christie’s campaign last year and that Christie recognized it could serve a purpose once in office.

“So many people are getting information through these resources,” she said.

In previous administrations, employees in the communications office were assigned exclusively to established media outlets, though an aide to former Gov. Jon S. Corzine helped out with new media.

Christie recently launched an official Facebook page, though full access to it was limited as of Wednesday to those who have “friended” him.

Jones said that Christie is personally writing his Twitter updates, including a message from Wednesday morning — “Travelling around the State today to talk about the hard choices of the FY 2010 budget solutions — starting in Berkeley Heights.”

Christie had 1,052 Twitter followers as of Wednesday afternoon. His Twitter account shows that he is only following — or getting the tweets of — nine people, including California’s first lady, Maria Shriver and Bruce Springsteen. APP

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  1. To comment #1
    Tweeter and facebook are free, and the to have someone like this to do the OR and PR is great, it leaves the biased views of the media out.

    Christie is already showing leadership skills (unlike a higher office) by standing up to unions ans legislators of the opposite party by cutting wasteful spending.

    Governor Christie keep up the good work!

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