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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

RNC hires Jonathan Torres as director of digital integration




Consider it a sign of the times: The Republican National Convention recently filled a job – director of digital integration – that didn’t exist four years ago.

Jonathan Torres, 32, is working his first full week in the newly created job. In 2008, the GOP convention in St. Paul , Minn. had a private contractor with an employee on its staff to lead online communications and serve as the convention’s webmaster. But the digital landscape was much different then. Twitter was a fraction of its current size, and Apple had just opened its App Store.

Now the RNC wants to be more focused on digital media and engagement. That will mean everything from making sure the convention has a big presence on Facebook, Twitter and flickr to using QR codes to encouraging conventioneers to check in on foursquare when they visit Radio Row.

The goal is to make Tampa ’s RNC the most accessible and engaging convention yet, spokesman James Davis said Tuesday, “so we’ve had to re-think and restructure our team.”

“We want to tell the story about the convention and we want to tell the story about our nominee,” Torres said. Conventioneers will want to share what they see and hear, but convention organizers are thinking not so much about giving them things to share as about pointing them in promising directions, then getting out of the way.

“The most successful social media campaigns have been those that have been driven by the fans,” Torres said.

Previously, Torres has worked as national social media director for D.R. Horton, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, has coordinated social media for the Gator Bowl and Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl,  owned his own marketing and advertising firm and has been a public address announcer for basketball, baseball and soccer games at the University of South Florida. The first-generation son of Colombian immigrants, he speaks and writes fluent Spanish, another skill the convention plans to use in its outreach to Spanish-speaking voters.



Also Tuesday, the convention said it has hired Erica Carson, a native of Cincinnati , as its executive secretary. Previously, she worked for Davis Manafort, a public affairs firm based in Alexandria , Va. , as well as for the McCain-Palin presidential campaign in 2008 and the Leadership Institute.


[Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 5:36pm]


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