PR, Social Media, and Everything in Between

Tweet Your Speech

Image Credit: "the 44th President of the United States...Barack Obama" By jmtimages

When President Obama gave his 2011 State of the Union address, I was at home watching and tweeting.

I could comment and like some quotes. I also replied to comments friends made. Some comments were witty and others were not.

Regardless, this marks the first time that I sat through an entire state of the union address. How did I manage that? I think the comments on twitter and Facebook made the engagement… fun.

From a PR perspective, Obama’s simultaneous tweets during the speech was amazing. wrote an article that highlighted that most of his quote were 140 characters or less. Almost as though the speech was written for tweeter.

The article asks whether twitter has become the new sound bite. I think the answer can be seen when you look at the number of media outlets that use screenshots of tweets.

Do you think his speech was written for twitter? If so, is Obama doing for social media what JFK did for television?


Comments on: "Tweet Your Speech" (6)

  1. Don’t make me think, that’s the tribe’s new mantra. A sound bite: it only has legs if repetition or instant resonance triggers recognition. Our job as speech writers is to hit the right notes – fast and hard. No second chances. (Grade 8 reading level is the standard in Canada too.) Ta, wordbone.

    • Thanks for the comment, wordbone. I compete in forensics (speech team) in the United States. I think that the idea of making a quote less than 140 characters can force one to be more concise. I agree that when writing a speech few consider initially how tweetable it will be.

  2. I don’t actually think it was written with twitter in mind. Its a funny concept and I can definitely see it being seen done in the future. I have not watched any kind of speeches like that but now that you talk about it, I think it can make it more interesting for me to watch a speech or something to see what other people are joking about it and such. Thanks for this post!

    • Thanks for reading my blog, Jonathan! I’ve started tweeting while I watch many different types of movies/speeches/tv shows etc., and I’ve found that a lot of the stuff is more tweetable than I realized.

  3. I think you pose an interesting question. Obama has used social media outlets on numerous occasions, and is very aware of it.
    I think it’s going to be a sad day when speeches are written with Twitter in the back of ones mind, however, like you said maybe using these new outlets as part of important speeches engages the younger generations.

  4. Good post Megan! During the State of the Union address, I too was at home reading live tweets. I think Barack Obama is really an interactive president, and it means a lot to the people of our generation. I really value Obama’s social media presence and I think that it is likely that he wrote the speech to be Twitter friendly. Good thought.

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