Come hang out with us IRL — apply to watch the State of the Union with us here at the White House as part of our SOTU Social.


Come hang out with us IRL — apply to watch the State of the Union with us here at the White House as part of our SOTU Social.

President Obama Delivers the 2013 State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 12, 2013. [AP Photo]

More: White House Blog — President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union

President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on February 12, 2013. In his remarks, President Obama addressed a number of foreign policy issues.

President Obama said, “Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda.

"Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into… more »

Engaging Overseas Audiences on the State of the Union Address

Dawn L. McCall serves as Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs.

Last night, Americans gathered around their television sets — or computer monitors — to watch President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union Address. For the first time, international audiences were able to watch the State of the Union Address live on U.S. embassy and consulate websites. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) streamed the speech with a new video player, placed directly on almost 300 English-language embassy and consulate websites andFacebook pages worldwide.

Our missions in Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, and Turkey had among the highest views of the webcast, and more than 60 posts amplified the speech on social media platforms, where they engaged their online communities via Facebook and Twitter. The U.S. Mission in Melbourne noted that the hashtag #SOTU was trending on Twitter in Australia — which demonstrates to me the interest the State of the Union Address generated overseas.

Some of our posts continued the online engagement offline by hosting viewing parties. For example, the U.S. Mission in Lahore hosted a group of Pakistani students to watch the President’s remarks, and the U.S. Embassy in Accra held an event with local journalists and exchange program alumni to view and discuss the program.

The feedback we received from participants was encouraging. A group of students watching in India shared how inspired they were by the President, and a viewer in Russia said that she believed in the power of people to create change. One viewer in Iraq noted that he woke up extra early in the morning to make sure he didn’t miss the President’s address.

Fortunately, not everyone had to set their alarm clocks early to watch the speech! To reach the part of the world that was asleep during the live event, we are rebroadcasting the State of the Union Address today in a 24-hour loop. International audiences across all time zones will be able to see the President’s remarks. This pilot is part of our ongoing efforts to find new and innovative ways to create global conversations and connect publics around the world, a hallmark of 21st Century Statecraft.