Before, During and After a VIP/DV Visit

Checklist 2 min
Adequately and appropriately prepare for a very important person (VIP) or distinguished visitor (DV) visit.

This checklist is adapted from the Coast Guard PIO Job Aid. Use this checklist for accomplishing all public affairs-related tasks before, during and after a VIP/DV visit. Check with the point of contact (POC) and the coordination staff to ensure there are no additional tasks.

Prior to the Visit

  • Determine the reason for the visit and obtain approval from leadership and higher headquarters, if required.
  • Identify and reach out to the protocol lead and the principal PA advisor to coordinate coverage and the release of imagery.
  • Determine the VIP's expectations for the visit.
  • Determine if a photographer is wanted, needed or expected for the visit.
  • Provide the POC with any materials in advance. Note that each service has its own protocol manual to follow for DV/VIP visits.
  • Develop a plan in coordination with the other team members and the POC. Use the appropriate form to organize information and inform staff on responsibilities/actions/timing as determined by leadership. For example, the Navy uses 5050 for PA Visits.
    • Determine the purpose of the VIP's visit and goals/objective of items to be communicated to the VIP from leadership.
    • Relay pertinent information about the VIP.
    • Set protocol expectations such as honors, seating, food requirements, accommodations, medical needs and overall schedule. Allow for things to take more time than expected.
    • Communicate security expectations or requirements.
    • Set specific agendas for meetings and briefings.
    • List supporting information for each segment of the schedule, such as maps, personnel lists or equipment requirements.
    • Create a list of responsibilities and tasks assigned to the staff, such as photos, transportation, briefings, security and safety equipment.
    • List communication methods and requirements.
    • Provide transportation routes and means.
    • Provide contingency resources and personnel requirements.
  • Obtain required approvals and signatures for the plan.
  • Brief participants prior to executing the plan.
  • Prepare specific briefing materials in time for review.
  • Assist the photographer as needed.

During the Visit

  • Stick to the schedule.
  • Keep the command and others informed of progress.
  • Track open actions, tasking or other issues that come up.
  • Ensure that all safety equipment is available and used.
  • Communicate ahead of the next stop or activity on the schedule.

After the Visit

  • Debrief personnel involved in managing and executing the visit.
  • Gather feedback, concerns, successes and issues.
  • Provide a briefing on the visit to command as required, including any open actions, tasking or issues.
  • Document required follow-up and assign responsibility.
  • Contact the POC to obtain feedback on the visit and follow up on any actions.
  • Provide original documents and electronic items for filing.
  • Provide feedback to personnel involved in managing and executing the visit.
  • Amend the plan template for the next VIP visit.

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