Session Details

Can Something Positive Come from This? How a School & a Community Responds to a Student Death

#MCS6 Marketing, Content, and Social Strategy Track

Room 101C


On Sept. 30 2012, a freshman at The College at Brockport State University of New York was found dead in her dorm room. Her boyfriend has been charged with her murder. The killing attracted national and international attention, in part because of eerie statements the deceased student made on social media the night of her death. In the hours after the death, The College began a concerted effort to both keep the public informed and bring the community together using social media. The effort continues this year as the campus has focused on combating domestic violence. This presentation will examine those efforts and show how they captured, promoted and encouraged a tremendous outpouring of support and kindness in what was a very dark hour for the school. The presentation will also examine the challenges faced in balancing the need to be open with your community versus the need to make sure the information you are sharing is factually accurate. The College hit records for social media engagement and heard from students, alumni and faculty that they had “never been more proud of Brockport” because of our response to the tragedy.


Dave Tyler
Social and Digital Media Manager, The College at Brockport, SUNY

Dave Tyler is social & digital media manager at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. He works on web content, social media, PR, marketing & videos. Before coming to higher ed Tyler also worked in PR & journalism. He is chief editor of Link: The Journal of Higher Education Web Professionals. Winner of the 1995 Heisman Trophy, a former ambassador to Chile and inventor of the Flux Capacitor he likes to find out if people really read conference bios by tossing in farcical statements at the end.

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