Leigh Heyman on how the White House engages its constituents
Photo contribution by Thomas Hawthorne
Digital Summit Phoenix had attendees on the edge of their seat as the man in charge of the WhiteHouse.gov discussed keeping your audience in the conversation.
Director of the New Media Technologies for the White House Leigh Heyman addressed how mobile has been the primary focus over the last couple of years to keep the people engaged.
Heyman has been working under President Barrack Obama’s administration since the start, creating a more user-friendly WhiteHouse.gov.
The White House knew they were being successful just by the numbers alone.
After this year’s State of the Union, the number of people who live streamed the speech were up by 50 percent compared to 2014 because of the use of multiple platforms such as YouTube and WhiteHouse.gov, Heyman said.
One of the tactics used to keep viewer engaged was a stream of information listed along side of the live video such and statistics and articles, Heyman said, which gave further context to the President’s speech without interrupting the stream.
Heyman explained that he and his team wanted the conversation to continue on past the broadcast.
People were able to have a localized “river of content,” so they could see how others in their area reacted to the speech.
Streaming the State of the Union in an engaging manner wasn’t the only way to reach their audience, or in this case the people of the United States.
They created We the People, a White House internet extension, which allows voters to submit and sign petitions, to further their engagement initiatives. The White House has had much success in this effort and actively responds to petitions, even to those that petition to build the Death Star.
“A conversation happens on a direct channel between us and the people signing it,” Heyman said.