America, yet again, is buzzing with the news of another horrific school shooting at Purdue University. On Jan. 21, alleged suspect Cody Cousins entered the Electrical Engineering building on Purdue’s campus and shot teaching assistant Andrew Boldt, killing him. Cousins then exited the building and turned himself into the police without physically harming another person.
During the incident, Purdue’s public relations team was hard at work, turning to social media to inform students of the lockdown. They advised students to avoid the area, while also providing links to Purdue’s official webpage for more information. As soon as they received information on events occurring in and around the university, the public relations team used all forms of media at their disposal to best inform students and staff.
Throughout the day, Purdue’s official accounts on both Facebook and Twitter answered important questions from students and informed the Purdue community of class cancellations and an upcoming press conference.
The accounts also posted pictures of the emotional candlelit vigil held Tuesday evening for Boldt, along with continuous reminders for counseling services.
“You don’t have to do this alone,” a Twitter account for Purdue tweeted (@BoilerBylaws). “Counseling is available for @LifeAtPurdue students #BoilerStrong.”
By turning to social media, Purdue’s public relations team was able to provide Boilermakers quick and helpful responses, and in this case potentially life saving information.
By Megan Briesath
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.