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April 22, 2010


Emily Vincent, director of media relations at Kent State University, discusses in a brief video the school's PR approach for the 40th anniversary of the National Guard shooting incident that left four students dead and was immortalized by Neil Young's anthem "Ohio."

The university has created an online press room to help media and the public with covering and understanding the story. That includes experts for comments, witnesses to the shooting and background information.

Flash Communications, the student run agency at Kent State, is helping to integrate social media into the PR plan.

Ohio National Guard members opened fire on unarmed students who were protesting President Nixon's invasion of Cambodia on May 4, 1970, wounding nine in addition to the four killed. The event sparked a ripple of protest at campuses throughout the country and further divided the country on the Vietnam War.

Here's a report from CNN on the 30th anniversary in 2000:

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Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (4/23):
We should never forget that bloody day at Kent State in reaction to the Vietnam tragedy we were drawn into for about the same kind of faulty reasoning as we have been the past 8+years and at terrible, terrible costs for which words are inadequate. That we do not learn easily, some of these events echoed as well the bloodsoaked trail that finally led to civil rights legislation that never should have been necessary. Many who resisted that as well, like the Teabaggers, leaned on the Founding Fathers as the basis for their states rights.

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