PR Takeaways from the SOTU

The State of the Union address has been sliced and diced a million ways. And that was before the President even made his speech.

Now that it’s been said and done, the analysis continues, and there are a number of takeaways for publicists of all stripes.

The Council of PR Firms has published a post with thoughts from firm leaders about lessons for business communications. Among those lessons, stick with your “core message” and “kick off and shape agendas in dramatic ways.”

The Nieman Journalism Lab analyzes the digital offerings on the SOTU page of Among the features are a videostream, which was a livestream, the text of the speech with graphics, and a link to various Q&As and to download the White House iPhone app. Nieman makes comparisons to coverage offered by traditional media and then goes on to write, “It’s saying, on top of everything else: Stay here.”

That’s what online press rooms should be saying also. News sections of many corporate websites have a list of press releases, maybe a few images and video, and not much else. These sections should be one-stop shops for all sorts of information for consumers and media.

For those who work with clean energy clients, the address must’ve been music to the ears. Now’s the time for promotion in this space. CNN reports on visits from President Obama, VP Biden, and members of Congress to various clean energy companies. This industry (and anything related to it) has got everyone’s ear, so now is the time to capitalize. offers some speechwriting tips. Perhaps one additional — make sure your jokes are winners.

Finally, we have a question. Bits and pieces of what the President planned to talk about were discussed and analyzed prior to the speech. Then the entire speech was leaked. How much info should be disclosed before a big event?