Throughout his presidency, President Joe Biden has done fewer media interviews, instead opting to use social media platforms such as TikTok to reach Americans ahead of the 2024 election, according to the Washington Post.
Biden has held fewer press conferences, 13 solo and 17 joint, than any other president at this point in their presidency and has participated in the fewest interviews with the press since former President Ronald Reagan, according to the Washington Post. Instead, Biden and his administration have leaned heavily on their social media messaging and use of such influencers in an effort to reach a younger and more diverse demographic, the outlet reported. (RELATED: ‘Converts Welcome’: Biden Campaign Reverses Decision To Join Truth Social)
The White House’s strategy to tout Biden and his administration through social media is about limiting his exposure to unexpected scenarios, Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief and now a George Washington University media professor, told the Washington Post.
“For a gaffe-prone president who sounds like he’s mangling or mumbling his words, less may be more,” Sesno told the outlet. “Controlling his access is advantageous.”
Since taking office in 2021, Biden has done one sit-down interview with a print outlet and spoken to an investigative outlet, the Washington Post reported. Biden has done interviews with broadcast outlets such as PBS, ABC News and most recently CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the White House noted to the outlet, though his interviews tend to be with less traditional media stations such as the Weather Channel and Comedy Central, according to the Washington Post.
“The press conference was an action-forcing event, because it forced the government to come up with better answers,” Mike McCurry, press secretary for former President Bill Clinton, told the outlet. “That to me was one of the useful reasons why we needed to have regular encounters with the press.”
In the Eisenhower Executive Building, the White House has a staff that is devoted to promoting Biden’s accomplishments on social media, the Washington Post reported. After Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act was passed, social media influencers were briefed on the act which Biden briefly attended. Some edit videos on “Bidenomics” while others brief social media influencers on a variety of topics including the White House’s plans for Mental Health Week, according to the Washington Post.
Though Biden is criticized for not doing many solo or joint press conferences, the White House noted to the Washington Post that he often will take questions on the way to Air Force One and sometimes will take several questions after a speech, which have been deemed informal “gaggles.” The president has held 492 “gaggles,” the Washington Post reported.
“Our communications strategy is ‘all of the above’ — which it must be to break through in a fractured media environment and an era of information overload,” Ben LaBolt, White House communications director, told the Washington Post. “We study where Americans get their information and make sure we are meeting them where they are, whether that is traditional newscasts, social media or consumer outlets.”