Posting Snapchats. Uploading videos. Letting a morning show take over the White House. And striking a deal with Amazon.
The White House is pulling on every possible lever to promote Tuesday night's State of the Union speech — the final one of the Obama presidency.
The administration is employing both new and old media both before and after the prime time event. The reasons why are obvious. Tuesday's speech is one of Obama's final opportunities to address tens of millions of Americans all at once, on his own terms, with a sense of optimism that belies anxieties about terror threats and economic uncertainty.
A president's last State of the Union tends to be a relatively low-rated affair. So here's what the White House is doing to try to change that:
-- Joining Snapchat: the White House officially joined the social network this week. The administration says it is offering a "behind the scenes look" at Obama's final #SOTU.
-- Inviting the "Today" show to the White House: the NBC morning show was broadcast in and around the president's home on Tuesday morning, and Matt Lauer had a taped interview with Obama to preview the speech.
-- Releasing online video "trailers:" In an artsy black and white video, Obama is shown making revisions to a paper copy of his speech. In another video, posted on Twitter by White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Obama addresses the camera and describes his administration's successes "these past seven years."
-- Promising this time will be different: Administration aides have repeatedly told reporters that the speech will be "non-traditional." McDonough told CNN's Jake Tapper that Obama "wants to talk about the future of this country."
-- Promoting live tune-in: The White House's main Twitter feed uses the kind of language TV networks use for TV series cliffhangers and big sporting events. "You won't want to miss this," said one tweet. "Don't miss it," said another.
-- Annotating past speeches: For the first time, the administration is using Genius — the annotation web site formerly known as Rap Genius — to show off the president's past State of the Union speeches and add comments to them. Tuesday's speech will be added afterward.
Jason Goldman, the White House's chief digital officer, says the strategy is about "meeting people where they are."
The promotional effort continues after the prime time address.
-- Streaming the speech: For the first time, Amazon will promote a video of the speech to its customers. (It will also stream the GOP response.) As in the past, Obama's speech will also be available on-demand through YouTube, the White House's own web site, and many news organizations' sites.
-- Giving interviews to YouTubers: Last year three YouTube hosts interviewed the president after the State of the Union, and the same thing is happening again this year. On Friday Destin Sandlin, Ingrid Nilsen, and Adande Thorne (known as sWooZie) will have Q&A's with Obama.