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Schools and Universities

The Tragic Disappearance of Morgan Harrington

On October 17, 2009, 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington disappeared after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Virginia. Immediately thereafter, local and state authorities carried out what would be a months-long search for her whereabouts.


The Harrington family needed to ensure that volunteers, national media and anyone who may have had any information about Morgan’s disappearance remained engaged in the search.


LEVICK immediately launched a pro bono social media effort–the first of its kind in a missing person’s case–utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and a personalized blog to ensure that volunteers, media and anyone else following the story had access to the latest developments and to the family’s powerful emotional appeals for assistance.


The effort maintained fevered interest and concern among target audiences–attracting more than 31,000 Facebook friends, nearly 1,000 Twitter followers, 2,000 YouTube channel views and more than 660,000 visitors to the campaign’s primary Web presence,, in addition to generating 121 print and digital article placements and 1,150 broadcast news mentions.