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After Virginia Tech: An analysis of Internet and social media use in campus emergency preparedness

David W. Guth, MA Journalism


This study gauges the degree to which the nation’s colleges and universities learned a key lesson of the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy: the need to rapidly disseminate emergency information to the campus community. A content analysis of 162 school Web sites found that three of four contained emergency preparedness information. It appears that most are now prepared to use the Internet and social media to alert stakeholders in the event of campus crises. However, less than half had links to emergency/safety information on their home pages. School size and governance appeared to factor in its placement on each Web site.


social media, Internet, public relations, campus communications, emergency preparedness, mitigation

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