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Emergency Communications in Action: Web seminar will provide insight on how to deal with crisis
Erik Dodge
Antelope Staff

Steven Kazmierczak stepped onto a stage at Northern Illinois University, opened fire on a geology lecture class, killed five students and injured 19 before he turned the gun on himself.

The Valentine’s Day 2008 shooting thrust NIU into the national spotlight as assistant vice president of public affairs Melanie Magara worked to keep the campus connected during the crisis.   

Magara will present a webinar “Emergency Communications in Action: The Tragic Valentine’s Shooting at NIU,” about the Valentine’s Day shootings and NIU’s response. The event, presented by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), is open to everyone and is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. in the Communications Center Room 218. Magara’s presentation will provide insight into how to communicate effectively in a crisis, develop messages that convey facts, transparency, preparedness and compassion and how to move forward from a crisis while remaining respectful and proactive.

After the shootings, NI Office of Public Affairs response kept the campus connected, the university maintained its caring reputation, saw an increase in prospective student applications and earned public relations honors including the PRSA 2009 Best of Silver Anvil Award.

Magara has been featured in PRSA’s PR Strategist Magazine and PR Tactics Newspaper, The Chronicle of Higher Education and CASE Currents magazine. She is a frequent workshop presenter and speaker and has been responsible for marketing, branding and public relations.



Who: Emergency Communications in Action
When: November 17, 2-3 p.m.
Where: Communications Center, Room 218

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