HomeSoutheast Asian Media Studiesvol. 3 no. 1 (2021)

Establishing Indicators for Effective Communication among Task Groups: The Case of the ‘Task Force Out of Baguio’ (TFOOB)




The COVID-19 lockdown protocols enforced by the Philippine government on March 2020 forced colleges and universities in the Philippines to suspend face-to-face classes. Consequently, hundreds of enrolled students were stranded in university towns and cities and needed to return to their respective hometowns. In response to this crisis, the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) organized the Task Force Out of Baguio (TFOOB) to help safely transport stranded students to their homes. The task force faced the challenges of navigating the varied and changing rules on crossing the city and town borders, securing necessary permits for travel, and communicating with multiple local government units. Given the rigid health and safety protocols at that time, communication between and among the members of the TFOOB was mostly through online platforms. This article examined the online group chat exchanges of the TFOOB. Through visualizing these communication exchanges by establishing a communication network mapping, three indicators emerged as potential measures for evaluating an effective communication network for groups: 1) volume and frequency; 2) intentionality or means of showing intended recipient; and 3) types of messages – task or relational communication.