What did you think about the 2011 State of the Union Address? I'm not talking about the content within President Obama's speech, or even his speech delivery (of course I have an opinion, but I won't venture to share it here). What interests me is the way in which the White House and our President has kept up with the Digital Age, realizing its importance and ultimately making it a priority to deliver information to American citizens across the country who use the Internet as a source of daily news.
By now, we're well aware of the effort put forth by our POTUS, Barack Obama, during the 2008 Presidential Election. He raised over half a Billion-with a B- dollars from online donors, with the greater majority of those donations in the amount of $100 or less. Impressive.
Fortunately, President Obama has continued this trend of bringing the presidency into the 21st Century with a White House Facebook account, Twitter account, and a MySpace account. As he has mentioned in interviews, he has taken these measures because the way in which We (The People!) receive our information is much more complex than in years past, so he must also adjust to the way in which the Office delivers information.
I just finished watching the State of the Union address delivered by President Obama- and I did so on the Internet. The White House developed a full page on their website for the 2011 State of the Union address, equipped with the following:
- A link to the White House iPhone app
- Links to the WH Twitter page, Facebook Page and the Press Secretary's (Robert Gibbs') Twitter page (rest assured that their Tweets and updates were flying throughout the event)
- Prior to the Address launch, video clips of President Obama and his progress during his first 2 years in office
- After the Address, live video consisting of a panel of experts in front of a live audience speaking on the issues the President discussed, and also a hyperlink to the web form where individuals could post questions/comments during the discussion
- Am email address form to receive White House updates
- A history of the annual Event including various facts
- A description and photo of each person sitting in the First Lady's Box
- Details on upcoming online Q&A sessions and round tables with the President, Vice President and other policy experts.
Even more intriguing, the online feed included graphics and images throughout the Address, offering viewers a more detailed look at what, exactly, the President was talking about at the moment. These elements, together, provided Internet users with an unprecedented number of ways to listen to the President's message, interact with the White House, and maybe most importantly, to learn about American democracy.
As a marketing professional who is always looking at evolutionary ways in which our society is communicating, I'm delighted that the White House seems to be paying attention, and listening. With that, I leave you with a few screen shots I grabbed during the Address. Have a wonderful night, regardless of the side of the aisle on which you reside!
SOTU Dedicated Web Page
Split Screen of Live Address and Image of President Obama at GM