Special Events Assignment

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Step 4: Organize and give assignments.

What To Do

This step is where you activate the team assignments in your crisis plan. You should start with the individuals identified as the leads. This allows everyone to start performing immediately and begin the process of communicating with the public about the event.

During the event, the core team needs to contain the highest-level individuals from the areas of science, administration, and communication. Together, they will determine the daily requirements.

The functions needed on the communication team include:

  • Director (or communication leadership team)
  • Content and materials development
  • Clearance
  • Media relations
  • Web management
  • Public health communication
  • Hotline/information center
  • Federal government communication
  • Health education
  • Clinician communication
  • Communications monitoring and research.

An example of how these communication functions may be organized is shown below.

An example of the CDC's Emergency Communication team is shown in this reference: CDC Emergency Communication: Communication Teams and Major Functions. Please note that this chart reflects the crisis and emergency response functions as the would be assigned in a large organization. Smaller organizations may need to assign multiple functions to one person, bring in contractors, or work with other organizations to carry out these functions.

The outcome of this step is that personnel will have critical communication functions to perform and everyone knows what their responsibilities are at the time of duty.

How To Do It

As the Communication Director, you kick off this assignment step by doing these four things:

Activate the functional teams identified in the Pre-Event stage.

  • The decision-making team (science, administrative, and communicators) comes together and begin working in their respective areas of responsibility. The team talks, meets, and decides on actions at frequent intervals during the day.

    • Science – defines medical issue, treatment, and epidemiological investigation.

    • Administrative – secures logistics, works on policy, resources, and security issues.

    • Communication – sets communication objectives for various audiences about what organization needs them to:

      • Know – what do we need people to know at this point, even if there are still some things we don’t know?

      • Think – how do we want people to think about what they’ve heard?

      • Do – what reaction do we want people to have based on our communication; is there something we want them to do?

      • Feel – how do we want people to feel based on our communication (relieved, watchful, concerned, wait-and-see)?

  • Define clearance officer(s) of the day. You need to have at least three people who can clear information.

  • Define internal communication channels so that information flows from you and to you.

  • Determine who is managing the event programmatically and scientifically. Meet with them immediately.

  • Make sure communication staff interfaces with program staff in charge of managing the crisis event response program. Be present at all key meetings.

  • Activate emergency communication functional teams. Make sure they know their assignments.

  • Determine priorities starting at your current phase.

Activate spokespeople.

  • Determine the key spokesperson for the event. Have them available throughout the event.

  • Determine the additional spokespeople. Have them available to you on an ongoing basis.

  • Have at least one SME as a spokesperson. Determine when you can have them available to you. It is preferable that someone be available to you on an ongoing basis.

Decide on operations.

  • Determine whether communications will operate 10, 12, 20, or 24 hours a day. You will probably want to do this for the first 48 hours, at a minimum.

  • Determine whether communication staff will operate 5, 6, or 7 days a week. Establish a schedule.

  • Have travel arrangements made, if you will need communication staff to travel.

  • If more resources are needed, start to pull them in.

  • Arrange for supplemental funds and resources if you don’t have what you need. This is not the time to have only one available fax machine. Get what you need.

  • Bring in contractors to supplement communication staff, if needed.

  • Gather feedback from first responders, affected population, media monitoring, and the public.

  • Make certain team members have contact logs to record information from the public, media, and other sources as it comes in.

Give assignments.

  • In this action you will give explicit instructions. You should have a method of pre-documenting the basic instructions that you can then tailor quickly for this event.

Communication team functions/assignments
Your organization may not be staffed to have teams of individuals for each of these areas, or even one individual for each area. The important thing is to pay attention to the functions that need to be performed and determine who can carry them out. When giving assignments during this immediate event step, individuals need to know the answers to two questions:

  • What is my role?
  • What do I do right now?

The roles and specific tasks to be performed immediately for each function should have been thoroughly defined and documented in the Pre-Event phase. Assignment sheets, or some mechanism of communicating this information to the team, should have been prepared. The chart below shows a synopsis of the roles and immediate tasks to be performed for each of the functions listed in the organizational chart above.

Example Assignment Sheets
The chart below is a summary of the key roles and immediate tasks. To see a more complete description of the roles and tasks, open the sample assignment sheet for each function.

Communication Teams/Functions

LEADERSHIP (Command and Control)   
ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_director.pdf

Key Role:

  • Manages overall communication activities
  • Leads core decision-making team
  • Activates communication team
  • Advises management
  • Assists, or serves as, spokesperson

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Meet with decision-making team
  • Activate the plan
  • Bring in needed resources
  • Brief communication team
  • Meet with upper management
  • Make telephone contact with other governmental agencies

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_content.pdf

Key Role:

  • Drafts and finalizes event-related information
  • Maintains a materials database/log
  • Works with SMEs to create additional information
  • Facilitates clearance of materials

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Determine your key messages and information
  • Express empathy and caring
  • Answer what the public wants to know
  • Prepare to answer media and communities' questions
  • Prioritize in-coming information for dissemination

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_media.pdf

Key Role:

  • Develops and maintains media contact lists

  • Produces and distributes media materials

  • Responds to media inquires
  • Provides spokesperson support

  • Serves as field media advisor

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Assess media needs

  • Organize daily press briefings

  • Develop triage intended for response to media requests

  • Activate contact lists and call logs

  • Prepare B-roll or slides for TV use

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_govmt.pdf

Key Role:

  • Ensures key legislators/special interest groups are informed
  • Maintains contact lists and call logs
  • Helps identify and meet information needs of legislator/special interest groups
  • Gathers feedback and reports back

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Identify critical groups and channels to reach them
  • Contact the legislator/special interest groups in the affected event area
  • Distribute all communication developed to legislator/special interest group list
  • Arrange regular briefings
  • Determine level of involvement of legislator/special interest groups

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_monitor.pdf

Key Role:

  • Oversees media monitoring systems and reports
  • Identifies story trends
  • Helps identify public and clinician issues
  • Provides daily updates
  • Test messages and analyzes polls/surveys

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Activate enhanced media monitoring systems
  • Determine most important media to monitor
  • Analyze the messages appearing on the event
  • Prepare short analysis for the decision-making team

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_clinician.pdf

Key Role:

  • Works with Health Alert Network (HAN) and Epidemic Information Exchange (EPI-X) on message dissemination

  • Responds to requests for information

  • Responds to clinician inquiries

  • Gathers feedback and reports back

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Identify critical groups and channels to reach them
  • Arrange for routine briefings to clinician networks
  • Coordinate information dissemination with PHCT and FGCT


Key Roles:

  • Organizes and manages event-related Web sites and Web pages
  • Ensures Internet and Intranet sites are operational
  • Assists in preparing documents and materials for distribution via Web sites
  • Updates content regularly
  • Establishes links to other Federal event-related Web sites

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Format and publish materials (developed by the communication team) on the organization’s Web site
  • Create links to other governmental agency Web sites that have information about the event
  • Update Web site as frequently as information changes

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_publichealth_partner.pdf

Key Role:

  • Establishes partner communication protocols

  • Disseminates messages

  • Arranges for regular briefings and updates

  • Responds to information requests and inquiries

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Identify critical groups and channels to reach them
  • Use the Stakeholder/Partner Reaction Assessment Worksheet to assist you in framing your response plans
  • Coordinate information dissemination with PHCT and FGCT
  • Provide specific background materials to partners
  • Commit to the partners a schedule of updates

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_healthEd.pdf

Key Role:

  • Identifies public education needs
  • Facilitates meeting of affected communities
  • Develops public information campaigns
  • Works with Communication Monitoring and Research Team (CMRT) to evaluate education materials

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Monitor potential areas of confusion and lack of information
  • Work with CMRT team to develop materials to address gaps in knowledge of audiences

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_hotline.pdf

Key Role:

  • Gathers information from hotline inquiries
  • Responds to requests for information
  • Provides hotline operators with latest information
  • Ensures hotline operators are responsive to callers’ needs
  • Liaisons with content team

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Report all information to the communication team.
  • Obtain FAQ’s and use them as scripts for operators
  • Provide the public with the Web site information
  • Update the communication team's list of questions that don’t have answers

ASSIGNMENT SHEET: CKOFF_assign_spokesperson.pdf

Key Role:

  • Acts as the "face" of the organization to the public and media
  • Presents the organization's messages with empathy and caring
  • Prepares to meet with the media and handle questions
  • Remains knowledgeable and credible on the event and the facts to date

Examples of Immediate Tasks:

  • Know organization's policies.
  • Prepare to answer these questions:
    • Are my family and I safe?
    • Who is in charge here?
    • What can we expect
    • Why did this happen
    • Were you forewarned?
    • Why wasn't this prevented?
    • What else can go wrong?
    • When did you begin working on this?
    • What does this information mean?

(The source documents for these assignment sheets are on the CD-ROM in the "Sample Documents" folder and can be edited to suit your organization's needs.)


How do you know when you have completed this step? If you can answer "yes" to the key checkpoints below, in all likelihood, this step has been completed.

What's Next?
Your next step during this phase of the event is to get the information prepared and get it approved for release. Because your functional teams are activated in this step, and everyone is in place and knows what to do. The process of information development begins.


Event Marketing examines all aspects of the marketing mix as they relate to successfully marketing an event. The course will explore various marketing tools – from the traditional to the emerging – to successfully promote an event. It will also cover the role of marketing in the event life-cycle, demonstrating the best use of marketing tactics while utilizing evaluation techniques to measure a successful outcome.



By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the elements that impact the event marketing plan
  • Create a blog for an event
  • Calculate and manage the costs that affect the event marketing budget
  • Evaluate the best medium to market an event
  • Recognize and discuss how design impacts the perception of an event



Teaching strategies for this online course will include lectures and facilitated discussion, case study method, readings, and analytical presentations by individuals and groups.



Topic 1: Introduction to Event Marketing – Forum: Using the 5 P’s in a Client Meeting – 10%

Topic 2: Integration – The Five Ws of Event Marketing – No assignment

Topic 3: Promotional Tools to Drive Event Success – Assignment: Create a Press Release – 15%

Topic 4: Marketing Design and Collateral – Assignment: Create a Marketing Plan Worksheet- 15%

Topic 5: Funding the Event Marketing Program – Quiz – Funding the Event Marketing Program- 15%

Topic 6: Marketing Strategies – Print – No assignment

Topic 7: Marketing Strategies – Web-based – Assignment: Create a Blog- 15%

Topic 8: Marketing your Event Business – Assignment: Create a Newsletter- 15%

Final Project: Create an Event Marketing Plan – 25%


Academic Content with Assessments

To complete each 8-week Course, students will have the following time commitments:

  • Online Presentation: 1 hour
  • Student/teacher engagement (via forum postings, course discussions): 2 hours

Total Student/Instructor time: 3 hours

  • Text Reading: 3 hours
  • Topic Review: 2 hours
  • Assignment/Assessment: 3.5 hours

Total Review and Preparation: 8.5 hours

Total Student Weekly Engagement: 11.5 hours

24 CMP Credit Hours

2 Credit Course – Endicott College


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