By Randall N Hyer MD, Ph.D., MPH and Vincent T Covello Ph.D
Emergency events, therefore, present a unique challenge to the internal media-relations capabilities of health agencies. Although such events are hard to predict, media
communication strategies for them can be planned in advance. Prior approval of communication strategies helps to minimize secondary damage (such as adverse economic or
political effects) and leads to greater trust. Such advance planning also greatly increases the likelihood that the resulting news media coverage will further public health interests and contribute positively to emergency response efforts. Well-constructed and properly delivered media messages can inform and calm a worried public, reduce misinformation, and focus attention on what is most important.