witter has hired former Apple communications executive Natalie Kerris as its new Vice President of Global Communications, in an announcement made yesterday morning. Disclosed on the platform itself, CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out a welcome note to Kerris, who replied in saying she was ‘thrilled to join the amazing leadership team of such an awesome global brand.’
It’s no secret that Twitter is in trouble. With the number of active users in decline in the fourth quarter of 2015, and after facing its own ‘exodus’ last month, Kerris’s appointment may be the saving grace Twitter needs to restore confidence in its shareholders. A sizeable portion of the Twitter executive team left the social media platform on their own accord not long before the former communications lead Gabriel Stricker was publically dismissed. To add insult to injury, long-investor Chris Sacca started an equally public discussion, stating how Twitter has ‘failed to tell its own story’ to both the press and Wall Street, just as Dorsey returned to his role as CEO.
Kerris, in comparison, is a well-liked name in technology, ranked no.36 on Business Insider’s Top 50 Tech PR People and out of the game for almost a year. Kerris left her role as Apple’s senior PR and Communications executive last April, after 14 years with the company, in which she built a gleaming reputation for Apple’s PR team. When she was hired, reports circulated that CEO Tim Cook wanted a “friendlier” PR chief to help rebrand Apple as a company with an approachable and “open” image. Bearing this in mind, Kerris could be the fresh eyes that Twitter needs to tackle its growth issues by reassuring and sustaining relationships with its investors as well as publicising Twitter’s new projects in a more desirable light.
The company does have plans for 2016, putting a whole host of ideas and Kerris’s feet to make change. In its first ever letter to investors released in early February, the company revealed its plans to make live video streaming part of its core focus as part of a set of a five-point priority plan. Assuming this translates to investments made into its streaming service Periscope, the letter stated that the team believed that “live streaming video is a strong compliment to the live nature of Twitter”. Additionally, the letter acknowledged how other apps such as Vine had created celebrities through promoting the most popular users and how they too wanted to “enable more people and media partners to create and share Moments”, pushing for their new ‘Moments’ feature to be used more by the musicians, actors, politicians and athletes who largely depended on Twitter for communication.
Although its widely accepted that ‘all publicity is good publicity’, Kerris’s experience in rebranding technology giants gives her the perfect foundations for moving forward with Twitter. Extensively involved in the launch of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Pay, Macbook Air and the recently launched Apple Watch, she’s no stranger to innovating ideas and pushing the boundaries of technology and maybe that’s just what Twitter needs – new ideas implemented by a friendly face to build trust and lead by example.