Ebola Communications

When four patients suffering from Ebola virus disease were treated at Emory University Hospital, we developed and executed a communications plan that resulted in accurate and favorable coverage of the most widely covered story in Emory University history.

Team-Based Planning

Team-Based Planning

We began by collaborating with the hospital operations team and involved groups—the CDC, US Department of State, NIH, Georgia Department of Public Health, and missionary organizations Samaritan's Purse and SIM—to develop protocols and process to guide our work in this uncharted territory.


Message Development and Discipline

Message Development and Discipline

Two main goals underscored our communications—to educate and allay fears, and to protect patient confidentiality. We emphasized the importance of accuracy in our core messaging, used designated spokespersons, and consistently trained media before each interview.


Internal Communication

Internal Communication

From the start we emphasized internal communication, including town hall meetings with hospital staff and regular email updates to all Emory staff. In addition, we reached out to hospital patients explaining the situation and sharing our key messages.


Media Relations

Media Relations

We met the demand for information from international, national, and regional news outlets and social media by focusing on timely and educational information dissemination. Through news conferences, social media, and daily contact with news media we relied on the importance of images and the fact that it's better to be accurate than first.

See the stories in the Emory News Center