DINING LIKE A DIPLOMAT: COURTESY AND PROTOCOL IN THE PRIVATE SPHERE. PART I

Acts of a private nature are organised according to precise social reasons and represent one more tool in developing diplomatic work. These, although they move within their patterns, governed by the general provisions of the social relationship, also come together in the essence of the official protocol. Both agree on different factors such as greetings, etiquette, precedence, ordering techniques, and others that must be considered to achieve the required success.

 

To achieve the respect those who attend our dinner deserve, we must celebrate these acts with significant signs of courtesy, the basis of protocol and inherent to education. For this, we use common sense in each particular situation. We consider the official regulations when attended by personalities who must be given the inescapable importance they require due to their rank, position or condition. In this sense, in Spain, in the official sphere, precedence is regulated in Royal Decree 2,099/83 of the “General Order of precedence in the State”. They also require mentioning other regulations, such as the Vienna Convention of 1961. Thus, for example, if two or more heads of mission attend our dinner, according to article 16.1 of the text mentioned above, the order of precedence between they will be determined by the date and time of presentation of their credentials in the country of destination.

As there are no regulations to this effect in the private sphere, the hosts at the said meeting must use social customs or general rules of courtesy to facilitate said work. Highlighting the following: of the priority of the right; of antiquity and age, both are a degree; of the alternation of sexes, referring to the placement of men and women alternately at the table; of marriage rest, marriages should not sit together; of the woman, she has the same precedence as her husband, except for those cases in which she is the one who holds a position; of respect for women at the table, the ladies should be served first, the hostess being the last of them, and then the gentlemen with the host being the last to be served; from the table service, the plates with the food will be served to the left of the diner and their withdrawal will be made to the right; of the presentations, in all presentations some forms must be taken care of, being presented first, the one with the lowest rank to the one with the highest; of the rank, in case of equality of rank, the preference is for the foreigner over the national; of foreign guests, two guests who speak different languages ​​should not be seated together; of coherence, people who have something in common have to be seated together; And a long etcetera to take into account so that our meeting is worthy of the respect conferred by the people we entertain.

In this context, special mention deserves the Ambassador D. José Antonio de Urbina y de la Quintana, one of the most prominent Spanish experts in the field and with whom I had the great privilege of learning this discipline in my master’s degree. “Protocol, especially everyday protocol, is not a corset; it is a means to an end.” This, therefore, is flexible and serves to facilitate coexistence and ensure the effectiveness of the event to be held by those who organise it, the hosts. It is up to them to discern how they want to organise their dinner since the flexibility of the protocol in this area allows them to orient it in their way, to their liking, without leaving the guidelines set to ensure the effectiveness of said celebration.

To conclude, I recall a few words from the former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Josep Tarradellas, which fit perfectly with the pattern that I believe should govern not only in this type of event but in life in general. “To do things well, you have to do them a certain way.”

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Writer by Maria Amorós Gurriarán, Expert in Protocol and Institutional Relations

23 May 2022, Spain 

Category: Business Protocol 

Reference: MA23052022BP

Re-edited in the English language by Eric Muhia

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

CHALLENGES OF PROTOCOL IN THE XXI CENTURY (I)

As we have discussed in previous articles, Protocol in the XXI Century and Origen of the Protocol, Protocol is a complex and transversal discipline with some challenges to face in the XXI century. The scientific research consulted has given us five challenges as a result. This will be the first article in a series of five where we will talk about all of them.

FIRST CHALLENGE: LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

The first challenge revolves around the general lack of knowledge about protocol, not only for the general public but also for digital and traditional media. If you are working in this profession, you know what I mean. If we went out on the street and asked the first ten people, we found that their answers would probably be between cutlery placement and royal issues if they knew what protocol is.

But we are by no means the first affirming this fact. Other professionals have said before that general society does not know what protocol is. It has been associated with unnecessary expenses, meals, etc. (Fuente Lafuente, 2013, p. 4). Words that have evoked other recent media articles –traditional and digital– denounce cases of politicians accused of spending excess money and associate this expense with protocol.

But let´s imagine for a moment that somebody would like to go deeper into the internet on the subject. What would happen?

Recently, there has been an explosion of protocol content online, either on websites or in blogs, video blogs… Anybody who would like to learn about our profession could quickly go online and do research. So, the question would be, what are they going to find?

María Gómez Requejo, project partner in Protocol Bloggers Point (PBP), a space dedicated to collecting all blogs in different languages that exist whose theme is protocol, wrote an article where she analysed this webspace. Her conclusions were as follows:

  • 7,6% of the blogs collected in this space can be considered made by researchers from the protocol world.
  • The profile of the bloggers is divided into 15,8% amateurs and 84,2% professionals from all areas of the protocol/event sector.
  • Only a tiny percentage of professionals are researchers, therefore dealing with the subject from a scientific perspective.
  • The content is not only written in Spanish but also in English. There are bloggers from 11 different countries.
  • The specific topics of the blogs are eight, but the ones that collect most of the cases are four: communication, events, protocol and ceremonial, and personal image and etiquette.

After that, the author focuses on the publications around protocol with a scientific character. There is one in operation in this area, the Revista de Estudios Institucionales, edited by the UNED (in Spanish), and the magazine Compé published its last copy in 2014.

The second part of this great misunderstanding about protocol comes from the media. Both traditional and digital.

Carlos Fuente makes the first approach to the phenomenon of the protocol in media. In his opinion, there is a tendency to identify protocol and its official events with the royal environment. This has a direct consequence, which is none other than calling it strict and tight. Outside the official sphere, it fits in the good manners and how to behave. (Fuente Lafuente, 2013b, p. 170).

This vision generally conveyed by the media has a clear consequence: the social distortion of the concept. The general public learns from the media that discipline consists basically of parties, unnecessary montages, etiquette and other frivolities. Therefore, society and media relate protocol with extra expenses.

Regarding the media, we find a recent study where this aspect is analysed in digitised media –press, radio and TV– from 1979 to 2016 (De la Serna Ramos, 2017).

One of the things that research shows from the beginning is that learning what protocol is from media is impossible. And that with the emergence of digital media and social networks, the situation has nothing but worsened. The association of the term protocol is linked to subjects like clothing or social education only. The impression is that the media is not interested in whether the user is correct or not; they only need a headline that attracts readers. Saying «Pope Francis has broken protocol» has much more impact on the reader than «Pope Francis has stopped to talk to an acquaintance».

In short, the public’s lack of awareness is a thing that has an “easy” solution with the dissemination of knowledge to a greater or lesser extent. But changing and correcting what people have been hearing time and again in the media is a whole different thing that adds up to an already difficult situation for protocol.

Despite this, De la Serna Ramos reaches four conclusions in her research:

  • It cannot be said that the term protocol is always misused in the media since the use is appropriate and rigorous in some cases.
  • Secondly, in the Spanish case, with the arrival of democracy, the discipline began to find its place in media related to the authorities and the political class.
  • On the other hand, in the first years of the XXI century, an increase in the improprieties of the term and the discipline is detected. This is linked to etiquette in the society pages again.
  • Finally, and in view that the situation is more negative than positive, De la Serna Ramos proposes a measure to improve this discipline in media: include protocol subjects in journalism degrees and studies. Currently, only two universities with these studies offer this option.

Therefore, this situation is complicated to reverse and represents the first major challenge that the protocol has in the XXI century. There is, without a doubt, a significant lack of awareness on the part of the public in general, and this does not seem to be improving in the light of the situation with the media as described above.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

De la Serna Ramos, M. (2017). Tratamiento del protocolo en los medios de comunicación. Una aproximación. Revista de Estudios Institucionales, IV, 11-26.

Fuente Lafuente, C. (2013a). Los necesarios cambios en el Ceremonial de Estado. Compé. Revista Científica de Comunicación, Protocolo y Eventos, 4-19.

Fuente Lafuente, C. (2013b). Percepción de los medios de comunicación sobre el protocolo. Compé. Revista Científica de Comunicación, Protocolo y Eventos, 1, 156-173.

Gómez Requejo, M. (2017, junio 27). La importancia de los blogs en la divulgación/difusión del protocolo. El caso “Protocol bloggers point”. Revista Estudios Institucionales, 4(6), 117-136. Retrieved from http://revistas.uned.es/index.php/EEII/article/view/18862

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Writer by Daniel Delmás, Professional of events and protocol.

15 February 2022, The Netherlands

Category: Protocol 

Reference: DD15022022P    

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

PROTOCOL IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

INTERNATIONAL PROTOCOL AND SOFT DIPLOMACY CONFERENCE 2021

INTERNATIONAL PROTOCOL AND SOFT DIPLOMACY CONFERENCE 2021

In the current era of unavoidable global relationships, knowledge about diplomacy, protocol, culture, and soft skills is essential to achieving business objectives. A successful business deal begins with comfortable relationships between the parties involved. It involves, among others, good manners, interpersonal intelligence, empathy, body language, assertive communication, personal image, and mutual appreciation.

Within this context, the “International Protocol and Soft Diplomacy Conference” was successfully held on Thursday, 9 (in English) and Friday (in Spanish), 10 December 2021. The conference was organised by PROTOCOLTODAY, a prestigious Dutch consultancy and academy firm specialising in protocol consultancy and international business skills training. ProtocolToday is also the publisher of the Global Mindset Magazine. The conference featured prominent speakers, approximately 100 participants from 33 countries, more than 12 embassies, international entrepreneurs and managers, and journalists from Diplomat Magazine EU.

This conference dealt with topics aimed at complementing those issues that, on multiple occasions, are omitted despite their enormous importance in negotiations with clients and possible strategic partners.

The program started with a presentation by Professor Dewanand Mahadew, CEO of NewEconomyStrategies (The Netherlands), on “Impactful Communication in International Business”. He emphasised the need to be cautious and discreet to avoid offensive situations. Knowledge about communication and understanding others is key to reasonable negotiations. Staying calm and positive is essential.” He recommended applying understanding, empathy, respect, prudence, and compassion.

He highlighted the urgency of “knowing how to navigate the world easily. That is, being able to ‘feel at home to avoid being seen as strangers. We must develop a global mentality and understand and learn about culture, politics, and economic systems to become familiar with the country we are visiting”. His speech included globalisation by specifying: “The globalised world requires connecting skills. This means feeling comfortable and being loved in the places we visit. We must have the ability to connect with other people despite existing differences”.

He referred to interpersonal skills as “communicate, persuading and negotiating, and having a critical mindset.” That is, being aware of what we do creatively and responsibly and enjoying a correct image. He suggested developing the “skills of knowledge, learning, and imagination.” Finally, he commented on the importance of appearance and how we express ourselves verbally and non-verbally in a business conversation. Apart from the first impression generated is the profile made of us.

René Spaan, leader of the Smart Mobility project (The Netherlands), addressed “Personal Anecdotes Working with Mexican Diplomacy”. He began with a revelation inherent in his experience: “If you work as many people, there may be those who do not keep their word”, alluding to the absence of seriousness in the business environment. He placed particular emphasis on credibility and on “legal and financial” factors in business.

Based on his recognised career, he recommended, when entering into trade agreements with Mexico, “to understand Mexican culture to become familiar with the cultural factors of the country in which you do business”. He was forceful in reiterating that the Aztec country is not “pure drug trafficking or illicit activities”, as is frequently exhibited through the media. It is a nation with extraordinary investment potential and rich historical diversity.

Gerardo Correas, president of the International School of Protocol (Spain), discussed “Protocol: Sentiment to Communicate” established several conclusive details aimed at understanding the function of the protocol and asserted “the protocol is nothing other than techniques to organise and they must occupy in each country depending on the current forms of communication. You have to place it in the context in which we live”.

He commented on working on the different emotions of the participants in an event to make it an experience and suggested that the social sciences be incorporated into the protocol to guarantee the proposed objective. He was conclusive when he said: “Each event should be an experience that channels feelings and emotions.”

He alluded to the “personal brand” and how it contributes to distinguishing, defining and differentiating. “To single out and enhance the entity’s brand, we must generate impact,” he said. It is a job that is the responsibility, in an organised way, to all areas of the company and “thinking about a global communication strategy.” Finally, he noted, “We must change the language or the words that protocol experts use to suit the public. It corresponds to transferring the protocol’s message in a simple way to society”.

Adriana Flores, an expert in Protocol & Diplomacy and founder of ProtocolToday (The Netherlands), spoke on “The Impact of Protocol and Diplomatic Skills in International Business”. She commented on how “internationalisation” has affected our lives worldwide. Therefore, she said, “we must know how to connect and be trained to deal with entrepreneurs and suppliers. We need to know the etiquette, protocol, and professional ethics” rules.

She highlighted the importance of knowledge in permanent professional growth and how “they will facilitate the opening of new doors in the workplace” and emphasised that “each of us must be the best ambassador of their own country in the world.” She shared her varied experience – in various international settings – and suggested creating a “business life” style to work.

She also referred to the connotation of “personal image”. She advised, “making the first good impression with impact. In business, etiquette is essential. We must adapt to the place where we will do business”. She reflected on deferential behaviour that includes values, ethics, and an impeccable track record that inspires respect and trust.

She also stressed that “we must be aware of the hierarchies of the country we visit and know the flags and symbols. The flags of a company should not be next to the emblems of the States. We must know about the matters concerning gift giving and receiving. Companies and embassies must have their gift protocol where they establish prices, details, and delivery methods. It is a symbol of friendship that means you are important; we appreciate it,” and she suggested giving the professional card according to the cultural context of the nation.

Héctor G. Pérez, president of the Enlazadot Business Chain (Mexico) stressed “Business Resilience”. He made a broad and exciting account of the business situation in his country and stated, “in Mexico, when it goes bad is when we get the most strength”. He highlighted “resilience” as the ability to adapt to an adverse situation and obtain favourable results.

He was categorical in his vision about the process of adaptation and evolution in Mexico for the times to come. “Social networks and digitisation have helped raise money,” he said. Finally, he gave a hopeful message by influencing: “We must believe in ourselves. It is not worth it if we do not believe in ourselves. It is a seasoning in us. We have to be empathetic with others in adverse moments.”

An enriching, reflective meeting, full of contributions and aimed at highlighting the scope and value of the protocol as a component of corporate work in its natural and broad connotation. Therefore, an imperative discipline to apply in our continuous efforts for professional growth. I evoke the pertinent reflection of Adriana Flores: “The power of protocol is essential; it is the art of communication.

By Wilfredo Pérez http://wperezruiz.blogspot.com/

PROTOCOLTODAY ACADEMY OF PROTOCOL & SOFT DIPLOMACY

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Writer by Wilfredo Pérez Ruiz, Teacher, communicator, and consultant in protocol, ceremonial, social etiquette, and writer of Magazine Global Mindset, The Netherlands.

19 December 2021

Category: Business Protocol. Conference

Reference: WP191221BP

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

ORIGIN OF PROTOCOL: HUMAN COOPERATION

In the previous articles, we talked about protocol (Protocol in the XXI Century) from a scientific point of view. The existing literature on the discipline (Overview of the biography of Protocol) is like. Today we would like to talk about another equally relevant perspective: what is the origin of protocol?

The first answer that will probably come to our minds as professionals will be human socialisation. After all, it is a tool used in the celebration of symbols. But according to what we have researched from the perspective of sociology or psychology, this would be an obvious yet completely wrong answer among other disciplines.

From the psychological perspective, authors such as Ruiz Tafur (2009) review the phenomenon of socialisation according to authors such as Freud and Piaget. Her findings lead her to argue that it is defined as the acquisition of patterns of behaviour, attitudes and values that constitute the substrate on which the personality of the human being is built. Hence, socialisation would allow us to explain how the integration of the norms and standards of society occurs but not the process of creating them. Therefore, from this psychological perspective, the protocol does not come from the phenomenon of human socialisation.

Let’s look at the socialisation process from a sociological perspective. It is considered the process by which a person becomes a functional member of society, acquiring the culture that is his own. Socialisation is the process of acquiring a culture (Lucas Marín, 1986, p. 357). From this perspective, socialisation has an important weight because it entails a process of formation and growth of an individual but does not explain the origin of the protocol.

Ruling out human socialisation led us to investigate the latest scientific literature on human cooperation, and it is precisely there where we consider having found the origin of the protocol.

Studies argue that altruism or cooperation’s origin would be what we call parental altruism. In other words, it is the fact that occurs in animal and human species where cooperative behaviour is experienced with the nearest «family» to perpetuate the genetic makeup. This type of behaviour with the evolution of the species argues that it will be part of one or more genes in humans that will be transmitted from one generation to another. It is curious to say that the origin of cooperation is a selfish attitude.

This will produce what is called «reciprocal altruism» at one point or another. This implies a predisposition to altruism towards the nearest «family» and other people outside this nucleus who will also be recognised as altruists (Silva & Gustavo, 2015, p. 87). However, this is a limited altruistic behaviour since it is subject to expected retribution in the future. Taken to the animal world, we can give the alert call of some types of birds when a predator approaches to warn the rest of the group.

It is precisely at this point that a first step is taken towards the emergence of protocol since we move to the moment in which the human being realises that collaborating in groups -first with one or two people, and then with bigger groups- increases their chances of survival in their environment. This fact, moreover, is a turning point for humanity, as it will be able to discriminate between selfish and altruistic people. This situation is associated with an evolution in which the concepts of friendship, culture, moral aggression, etc., will emerge as elements that will reinforce, or not, cooperative behaviour. In addition, communication and other associated skills will also be developed.

With this scenario described, the necessary conditions are given for the birth of protocol. There will come a time when humans are in groups that need to equip themselves with rules that guarantee harmony. Who eats the most nutritious food? Who will be the gatherers, and who will be the hunters? Who sleeps in the safest place? Who has the necessary merits to lead, and what are those parameters that fit it? This situation is the origin of the protocol in our point of view. Settlements will be created, dominant individuals will emerge, coalitions and hierarchies will be identified with symbols, and gods will respond to and expand very abstract elementary concepts… The dominant power will realise that the use of events and protocol is a powerful communication tool that helps them stay in power and create a «brand image».

In addition, this origin would explain why each social group has a different type of protocol depending on its culture. Each of these groups that had no contact, or very limited, with each other has developed its own rules of coexistence and mechanisms. Therefore, to be able to deal with each other and maintain a peaceful coexistence, mechanisms have emerged that have given rise to what we call international and diplomatic protocol.

Protocol, hence, implies an escape from anarchy, chaos, and loneliness in search of the security offered by a group under a set of pre-established rules.

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BIBLIOGRAFIA

Acedo, C., & Gomila, A. (2013). Confianza y cooperatión. Una perspectiva evolutiva. Contrastes. Revista Internacional de Filosofía, 18, 221-238. https://doi.org/10.24310/contrastescontrastes.v0i0.1169

Calvo, P. (2017). Reciprocidad cordial: Bases éticas de la cooperación. Ideas y Valores, 66(165), 85-109. https://doi.org/10.15446/ideasyvalores.v66n165.53225

Lucas Marín, A. (1986). El proceso de socialización: un enfoque sociológico. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 44(173), 357-370.

Ruiz Tafur, P. (2009). La Investigación En El Tema De Socialización. Psicogente, 12(22), 326-340.

Silva, C., & Gustavo, A. (2015). Cooperación humana, reciprocidad y castigo. Un enfoque evolutivo. Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia, 15(30), 81-121. 

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Written by Daniel DELMÁS, Professional of events and protocol 

Category: International Protocol

Reference: DD171121IP

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE PROTOCOL

Human society has undergone a significant evolution since the dawn of its birth. Human beings have studied and adapted the world around them to survive and conquer high quotas in terms of quality of life. To better study their environment, a form of research called the scientific method was developed and has evolved throughout history. This is undoubtedly how knowledge is achieved today, and it is the only objective and universally valid way.

Unfortunately, there is very little scientific literature about it for people who devote their lives to the practice and investigation of protocol. And when it comes to languages, the research work in Spanish is scarce and almost non-existing in English. Since the beginning of time, those who have exercised protocol did not need to register or study it since their knowledge was based on customs and legislation. Thus, it was transmitted from person to person. Over time, people who worked as protocol professionals captured their experience, ultimately leading to a rich and developed professional or pragmatic literature. The problem with this approach is that each author, depending on the branch of knowledge from which they come -law, communication, etc.- and the sector in which they exercise the protocol -official, corporate, or social- sees the discipline differently. Therefore, they see and describe their part of the protocolary reality. In the absence of the application of a scientific method that gives an objective and universal approach, it is a particular and “biased” vision that cannot be taken as an absolute truth (Delmás Martín, 2021, p. 2865).

This last perspective on the reality of the existing literature on the protocol has already been described perfectly by Álvarez Rodríguez (2008, p. 162) in a scientific paper. She concluded that a pragmatic character marks this literature and that it has been trying to get closer to the academic part. On the other hand, by analysing the trajectory of the bibliography, she concluded that, in Spanish, four different schools or approaches had been generated in which professional literature on protocol could be unified: the diplomatic school, the historical approach, the law school, and the community approach.

The first of these is the diplomatic perspective. The author considered its father, José Antonio de Urbina. He practised law for many years and was diplomatic; therefore, it is not hard to imagine why he was the one who considered protocol as a tool for mutual understanding between nations or cultures.

Secondly, we have the legal school, which, as its name suggests, focuses the study of the protocol mainly on the laws: norms, customs, and legal rules that have been adopted over the course of time. It’s meaningful when we think of it since professionals in this field base their work on these laws and norms that are the essence of protocol science. It made an impression on professionals very quickly at the time. It is what has led many professionals and scholars of the subject to consider that it is the only protocol that comes from the official since it comes mainly from existing legislation. From my perspective, after having studied the scientific literature, this point of view is partial and does not allow us to acquire a holistic view of the protocol. The most representative author of this legal trend is Francisco López-Nieto.

The third approach is the historical one. It focuses its study on the narration of the traditions, customs, and social uses that have been happening throughout history. It makes significant contributions as well as the previous ones. We consider Felio A. Vilarrubias as the most outstanding author of this current.

Finally, we have the communicative perspective. This has driven the protocol to a great extent among protocol professionals. Considering it as a communication tool for public and private organisations and generator of reputation and brand image has kicked off its study in communication sciences to obtain the most significant possible benefit from it. It is one of the most popular today and has the most followers and scholars.

To summarise, regarding schools, two clarifications can be made by the author, which I refute from my study of the subject: the first is that, although the different schools have been happening over time, none of them has annulled the previous ones. All of them are considered valid and bring a vision to the discipline. On the other hand, an obvious conclusion emerges: none of these fields of study of the protocol can fully provide solutions to the needs of the discipline at present on its own. However, together they give us more meaning.

Therefore, to understand the protocol in its fullness, we must see it from the diplomatic, historical, legal, and communication perspective and the sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines (Bernad Monferrer, Rubio Calero, & Delmás Martín, 2021, p. 2758). The protocol is like a prism with many faces, and only by looking at it from all of them will we fully be able to understand it and develop the science of protocol.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Álvarez Rodríguez, M. L. (2008). Nociones de protocolo desde la bibliografía de sus autoridades. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, (63), 165-173. https://doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-63-2008-760c-165-173

Bernad Monferrer, E., Rubio Calero, D., & Delmás Martín, D. (2021). Protocolo: dispersión de su conocimiento en otros campos. En La comunicación a la vanguardia. Tendencias, métodos y perspectivas. (pp. 2737-2759). Madrid: Editorial Fragua.

Delmás Martín, D. (2021). Una experiencia en análisis de contenido de definiciones de protocolo propuestas por profesionales del sector. En La comunicación a la vanguardia. Tendencias, métodos y perspectivas. (pp. 2846-2869). Madrid: Editorial Fragua.

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Written by Daniel DELMÁS, Professional of events and protocol. 

28 September 2021, The Netherlands

Category: International Protocol

Reference: DD280921IP

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

Become discreet and make your mark!

BUSINESS PROTOCOL AS A DIFFERENTIAL TOOL IN THE CORPORATE IMAGE

Nowadays, all companies look for differentiating elements from their competitors to improve their corporate image before the different interest groups or stakeholders.

The companies invest in R + D + I (Research + Development and innovation) for the constant improvement of the product. Still, a plus to the service would be the protocol as a differentiating element so that it will be explained how this tool can improve the corporate image.

Within corporate communication, everything communicates and the image that we project as a company. Therefore, the question arises: What is the corporate image?

The corporate image is what the company says + what the company does; this is the image.

Having a positive image helps in:

  • Obtain the respect and acceptance of the public.
  • Enhance the image of the brand.

How can the Business Protocol help our corporate image?

To answer this question, it is important to know some key concepts.

The protocol is the set of rules established by law or tradition, uses, and customs for the performance of a certain official act and unofficial acts. Within the protocol, we can find the official protocol, military protocol, religious protocol, university protocol, and sports protocol, among others. Still, there is also the business protocol, and it is the one that is developed within the corporations. Therefore, the protocol is not only framed within the palatine (typical of the palaces), but it can be a differential tool of the corporate image. Therefore, it is important to understand that this discipline is one more tool in communication at the company’s service.

The suitable protocol transmits messages and shows outwardly that the company or home is in order. So the protocol in the business environment has become a necessity. It is a tool to achieve excellence.

Protocol in the company is:

  • Courtesy.
  • Care for the image of the company and its staff.
  • The speeches.
  • Design of spaces and scenarios in events and meetings.
  • Taking care of the guests.

It is essential to develop an internal protocol manual, which includes rules and recommendations, for the preparation of acts and aspects of a more social nature, such as a personal image.

In company events, it is important to formalise events to enhance the corporate image and see it as a differentiating element in corporate communication. The events that can be organised are corporate events (work meetings, signing of agreements, general meeting of shareholders, awards ceremony), as well as commercial events (fairs, congresses, presentations), other events (laying the first stone, site visit, inaugurations and discovery of commemorative plaques); external events, with social repercussion, regularly organised by third parties (sponsorship of events), thereby enhancing the image of the company.

Well-managed acts will help to enhance the image of the company.

The parts of the protocol act in company events are the following:

  • Corporate symbols, such as the company logo, must be present on the institutional flag, which will bear the company colours, invitations, advertising banner for the event, etc. It should be noted that the company’s logo must be in the photography points, such as the presidency table.
  • The host and the presidency are the people who motivate the act and have a great responsibility in making decisions. He is the image and represents the company on the spot.
  • A guest list must be established with their respective treatment for the guests. Those guests must be ordered (authorities, guests of honour, special guests, collaborators, clients, sponsors, general guests, and consorts). 
  • The reception of guests defines who receives and from where they receive. Precedents and treatments.
  • The VIP room is an exclusive, comfortable area with a private bathroom, drinks, and meals. It is a waiting room until the event begins. 
  • The speeches have a particular formula for each type of event, so the head of the protocol cabinet will be the one who gives the guideline.
  • Access and event security; 
  • Accreditations;
  • Institutional gifts or corporate gifts help to generate good institutional relationships and go hand in hand with the courtesy that is printed on these details, which will be aligned with the company’s policy and detailed in a corporate gift catalogue, which will have levels for different audiences (partners, suppliers, visitors, etc.), this will help us to know what to give and when to give;
  • The book of honour is a book whose purpose is that all the personalities and guests of honor who attend the events organised by the company can sign it—made of a material that enhances and adorns it with an embossed silver cover must have the company logo.
  • The dismissal at the events also has a protocol to follow, the most important authority being the one who leaves the event first and will be accompanied by the person who received it from the company, generating a feeling in the visitor of having been attended at all times, both on arrival and at the farewell.

Finally, it is good to measure the impact and results. Tailored events have to be organised, creative, impactful, and with content, generating a memorable memory.

VIP SPECIAL EDITION

PROTOCOLTODAY ACADEMY OF PROTOCOL & SOFT DIPLOMACY

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Written by: MG. Jorge PRADO, Master in public relations, events, and Protocol, an expert in Corporate Communication. 

19 September 2021, PERU

Category: BP

Reference: JP19-0921P

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