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White House, Republicans ready mobile fire for State of Union address

In an attempt to reach the American public via mobile, the National Republican Congressional Committee is hosting a live text chat during President Obama?s State of the Union address on Jan. 27 and the White House has launched an official iPhone application.

The White House?s mobile application, an extension of the official site at, will broadcast the State of the Union address live - a first in this nation's history. Also, this will be the first live text chat hosted by the NRCC, a marked upgrade from the Republicans' absence from mobile use in the 2008 elections.

"This unique program will allow Americans to utilize technology to engage with other concerned Americans to discuss the pressing matters facing our country,? said John Randal, ecampaign director of the NRCC, Washington, about the live text chat feature.

?Additionally, the follow-up question-and-answer session reinforces House Republicans' commitment to interact directly with Americans to discuss issues that are impact their daily lives,? he said.

62262 gets app, site
The application features content from the White House newsroom and blog at

Also featured within the application are videos and photos, as well as live streaming of White House events, such as upcoming State of the Union address.

Consumers will also be able to watch Web chats with Obama Administration officials and other events in real time.

The application is free to download and just the first step in the White House?s plans for the mobile platform.

In the coming weeks, the White House plans to launch a mobile version of The site will be optimized for any Internet-enabled mobile device.

According to the White House, mobile Web usage grew more than 100 percent in the last year nationwide and even higher worldwide.

The application makes getting the latest news and media from the White House easier. It is part of President Obama?s commitment to an open and transparent government.

Republican live chatter
For those on or off the same political page, they are invited to participate in the NRCC's live chat via SMS during President Obama?s State of the Union address.

To participate, consumers can text either keyword, SOTU or STATE, to the short code 777218.

After opting-in, consumers receive a text message that reads: "Thank you for participating in NRCC's State of the Union Text Chat. Look here on Wednesday 1/27 for the link to participate."

Several hours before the State of the Union address, consumers will receive chat instructions via text message: "Voice your opinion! Send ur comments as a message to 777218. View America's response at Don't forget to refresh/reload the page to view more msgs. Txt help for help."

The chat rooms will be broken down in to smaller groups based on area code.

In the chat room, consumers will be able to interact with each other via SMS.

Throughout the speech, Republican Party figures will be able to text everyone in all the chat rooms to engage participants.

NRCC said the demographic for the SMS chat is any consumer who wants to have a meaningful conversation about the policies that affect Americans.

To get the word out about the program, NRCC said it has contacted several conservative radio hosts to discuss the program on their radio shows, and also encouraged House Representatives to discuss it in their home districts on radio and television.

Ads have been placed on the NRCC and other Republican Web sites. The program is also being promoted through blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and email drops by the NRCC.

Consumers will be asked to opt-in to a mobile database for future marketing.

Political talk
The NRCC said it is looking to find ways to engage with Americans who care about politics and create opportunities to continue the conversation.

?Mobile has played a huge role in the past few political elections and with a reach greater than TV and PCs combined, it's not hard to see why,? Mr. Randall said. ?With politics touching the very core of a person?s beliefs and the cell phone being the most personal communication device each of us have, mobile marketing is the perfect medium to connect with Americans.

?Although we've seen several mobile political campaigns over the past few years, we believe that they have not fully harnessed the opportunities provided by mobile communication ? in particular the two-way communication component,? he said. ?Our experience tells us Americans want a dialogue, not a monologue, when engaging online.

?The National Republican Congressional Committee is creating a two-way communication tool that will truly engage Americans and by creating a powerful, ongoing relationship.?