In 2010, more than 48 million people watched the State of the Union address. But Americans increasingly get their content online, not on television. The average American watched six fewer hours of live TV per month in 2014 than he or she did in 2013—and twice as many households are now “broadband only,” meaning they don’t subscribe to cable.
Rather than fight the inevitable, the Obama administration has adapted–and used a variety of social media platforms to outline the president’s major State of the Union proposals in advance.
It was a shrewd way to take the president’s agenda directly to the platforms where people get their information, unfiltered, and reach the communities that care the most about specific issues.
That’s why senior adviser Valerie Jarrett took to LinkedIn to announce the president’s renewed push for paid sick days and family leave—directly reaching affected employees and telling employers that the administration means business.
To explain the administration’s proposal to improve and expand access to broadband, President Barack Obama taped a video on an iPad from the Oval Office and posted it Upworthy, the Web site popular with millennials.The White House put out an "enhanced" version of the State of the Union. Philip Bump appraises it in comparison with GOP messages.
At The Washington Post, Caitlin Dewey offers a brief history of the president's use of online media.