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White House Leans On Social Media For State Of The Union

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BARACK OBAMA STATE OF THE UNION
AP

WASHINGTON -- Days ahead of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, the White House on Friday unveiled a new web video and blog post mapping out all the ways people can use social media to engage directly with White House officials during the president's speech and in the days to follow.

In a web video titled, "The White House Wants To Hear From You," White House senior adviser David Plouffe encourages people to watch Obama's Tuesday night speech on the White House website, www.whitehouse.gov, where there will be an "enhanced version" of the speech featuring details and graphs "that you won't find anywhere else." Immediately after the speech, the White House will live-stream a panel discussion featuring senior administration officials and a live audience taking questions from Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

The next few days, as outlined in a blog post on the White House website, will be a Twitter marathon of sorts. Administration officials will spend Wednesday taking questions on the State of the Union in a day-long, question-and-answer session on Twitter. Participants will include White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, White House Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council Mark Zuckerman and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer.

On Thursday, the White House will feature a series of community-focused discussions with policy advisers and experts, with specific conversations on LGBT issues, the Latino community, veterans and seniors, among others. On Friday, the Twitter Q&A's will be directed toward specific policy issues including health, education and jobs. People who want to participate can ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat, and administration officials will respond in real-time.

"You can ask questions about your future, your ideas about the economy, how the president's ideas impact your community," Plouffe says in the video. The effect is that "you're not just watching the speech, you're engaged afterwards and able to really talk with us, help inform us better and answer any questions you might have about what the president proposed."

Without giving details, Plouffe said to expect an announcement soon about a "special online event with the president."

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