Knowledge about diplomacy, protocol, culture, and soft skills, in the current era of unavoidable global relationships, 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 organized by PROTOCOLTODAY, a prestigious Dutch consultancy and academy firm specialized 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 emphasized the need to be cautious and tactful in order to avoid offensive situations. Knowledge about communication and the ability to understand others is key to good 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 through the world easily. That is, being able to ‘feel at home to avoid being seen as strangers. For this, 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 globalization by specifying: “The globalized 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 to “communicate, persuade and negotiate, and also to have a critical mindset.” That is, being aware of what we do in a creative and responsible way and enjoying a correct image. He suggested developing the “skills of knowledge, learning, and imagination.” Finally, he commented on the importance of appearance and the way we express ourselves, verbally and non-verbally, in a business conversation. Apart from the first impression generated is the profile that will be 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 special emphasis on credibility and on “legal and financial” factors in business.

Based on his recognized career, he recommended, when entering into trade agreements with Mexico, “to understand Mexican culture in order 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 has a 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 organize 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 in order to make it an experience and suggested that the social sciences should 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, define and differentiate. “To single out and enhance the brand of the entity we must generate impact,” he said. It is a job that is the responsibility, in an organized 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 transfer the message of the protocol in a simple way to society”.

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

She highlighted the importance of knowledge in permanent professional growth and how “they will facilitate the opening of new doors in the workplace” and emphasized, “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” and advised, “making the first good impression with impact. In business, etiquette is very important. We must adapt to the place where we are going to do business”. She reflected on deferential behavior 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 own 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 interesting 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, obtaining positive results.

He was categorical in his vision about the process of adaptation and evolution in Mexico for the times to come. “Social networks and digitization 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 each one of us. 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, in its real and broad connotation, of protocol as a component of corporate work. 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 important; it is the art of communication.

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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”


In the previous articles, we talked about what protocol (Protocol in the XXI Century) from a scientific point of view is, and what the existing literature around 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 in the matter will be human socialization. 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, among other disciplines, this would be an obvious yet completely wrong answer.

From the psychological perspective, authors such as Ruiz Tafur (2009) review the phenomenon of socialization according to authors such as Freud and Piaget among others. Her findings lead her to argue that it is defined as the acquisition of patterns of behavior, attitudes and values that constitute the substrate on which the personality of the human being is built. Hence, socialization 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 protocol does not come from the phenomenon of human socialization.

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

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

Studies argue that the origin of altruism or cooperation would be in what we call parental altruism. In other words, it is the fact that occurs in animal and human species where cooperative behavior is experienced with the nearest «family» with the aim of perpetuating the genetic makeup. This type of behavior with the evolution of the species argues that it will end up being 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, at one point or another, what is called «reciprocal altruism». This implies a predisposition to altruism not only towards the nearest «family» but to other people outside this nucleus who will also be recognized as altruists (Silva & Gustavo, 2015, p. 87). Although this is a limited altruistic behavior since it is subject to expected retribution in the not-too-distant future. Taken to the animal world we can give as an example 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 realizes 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 that will function as elements that will reinforce, or not, cooperative behavior. In addition, communication and other associated skills will also be developed.

With this scenario that we have described, the necessary conditions are given for the birth of protocol. There will come a time when human being is in groups that need to equip themselves with a series of 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 make it fit for it? This situation is the origin of protocol in our point of view. Settlements will be created, dominant individuals will emerge, coalitions and hierarchies will be identified with symbols, gods will emerge that will respond and expand very abstract elementary concepts… The prevailing power will realize 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, in order to be able to deal with each other and to continue maintaining 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.


Acedo, C., & Gomila, A. (2013). Confianza y cooperatión. Una perspectiva evolutiva. Contrastes. Revista Internacional de Filosofía, 18, 221-238.

Calvo, P. (2017). Reciprocidad cordial: Bases éticas de la cooperación. Ideas y Valores, 66(165), 85-109.

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”


Human society has undergone a great 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 the way in which knowledge is achieved today and it is the only objective and universally valid way.

Unfortunately for people who devote their lives to the practice and investigation of protocol, there is very little developed scientific literature about it. 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 have the 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, which has ultimately led to a very rich and developed professional or pragmatic literature. The problem with this approach is that each author, depending on the branch of knowledge from which he or she comes from -law, communication, etc.- and the sector in which they exercise the protocol -official, corporate, or social- sees the discipline in a different way. 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 of the protocol has already been described perfectly by Álvarez Rodríguez (2008, p. 162) in a scientific paper. She concluded that this literature is marked by a pragmatic character and that it has been trying to get closer to the academic part. On the other hand, by analyzing 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 as its father was José Antonio de Urbina. He practiced 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 the science of protocol. It made an impression on professionals very quickly at the time, and it is what currently 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 personal perspective, and 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 basically focuses its study on the narration of the traditions, customs, and social uses that have been happening throughout history. It makes very important 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 is what has driven the protocol to a great extent among protocol professionals. Considering it as a communication tool for public and private organizations, and generator of reputation and brand image has kicked off its study in the areas of communication sciences to obtain the greatest possible benefit from it. It is one of the most popular today and has the most followers and scholars.

To summarize, 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, a very clear conclusion emerges, and that is that 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, in order to understand the protocol in its fullness, we must see it from the diplomatic, historical, legal, and communication perspective, but also from the sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines (Bernad Monferrer, Rubio Calero, & Delmás Martín, 2021, p. 2758). 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.


Álvarez Rodríguez, M. L. (2008). Nociones de protocolo desde la bibliografía de sus autoridades. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, (63), 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!


Nowadays all companies look for that differentiating element from their competitors in order 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, but a plus to the service, would be the protocol as a differentiating element, so 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 as well. 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?

In order 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, sports protocol among others, but 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. It is therefore important to understand that this discipline is one more tool in communication at the service of the company.

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

In company events, it is important to formalize events in order to enhance the corporate image and see it as a differentiating element in corporate communication. The events that can be organized 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 organized 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 which must be present on the institutional flag, which will bear the company colors, invitations, advertising banner for the event, etc. It should be noted that the logo of the company must be in the photography points such as the presidency table.
  • The host and the presidency, the host is the person who motivates the act, has a great responsibility in making decisions. He is the image and represents the company on the spot.
  • The guests, a guest list must be established, with their respective treatment. Those guests must be ordered (authorities, guests of honor, special guests, collaborators, clients, sponsors, general guests, and consorts). 
  • The reception of guests defines who receives, from where they receive. Precedents and treatments.
  • VIP room, is an exclusive area, a 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 catalog, 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 honor is a book whose purpose is that all the personalities and guests of honor who attend the events organized by the company can sign it. Made of a material that enhances and adorns it with an embossed silver cover for example and 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 organized, being creative, impactful, and with content, generating a memorable memory.

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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

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!


In an article by ABC News Australia on June 26th, 2015, it was revealed that “emu and crocodile” would be, “off the menu for foreign diplomats dining at Australia’s Government House in Canberra.” Stated the then-Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, “We don’t want to confront our guests without some warning.” The guests included diplomats from Japan, South Korea, India, and the United States.  

Part of any diplomatic mission is to promote one’s country, provide advice and support to ministers developing foreign policy, and create trade opportunities.  Part of a diplomat’s toolkit is being aware of cultural nuances and using etiquette to better relationships.

The inaugural winter solstice feast hosted at Yarralumla, the residence of the Governor-General, “showcased some of the finest Australian food, all sourced locally, including Cowra lamb, Tumut River trout, duck from Young (located in the state of NSW), and kangaroo fillets” accompanied with Indigenous flavors such as lemon myrtle and bush pepper. It was reported that in his opening address, the Governor-General had joked about “Australia’s past gourmet reputation.” Careful preparation and forethought went into planning this event, due to mistakes made previously in Australia’s past efforts in dining diplomacy. 

Successful dining and entertaining at royal and government levels build alliances in every culture represented. Everyone at the event is creating a shared experience that increases trust and open communication.  History has noted that there has been protocol in dining events with those who have been rulers, royal families and those that are representative of those rulers, for thousands of years.

Using the correct dining etiquette at these events has always made a difference in the success of these events.  On a psychological level, navigating a complicated place setting, with numerous implements, shows your guest that you are competent and have the innate ability to overcome a challenge.  Showing diplomacy at a dining event tells your host that you have respected their thought to include you and their work to successfully pull an event together. Just think of all that went into it; the seating arrangements, order of procession, invitations, and food considerations, including guests cultural or religious views. These all come into play when organizing such an event.

What about Australia’s past protocol’s when their Head of Commonwealth came to visit?  In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II with Duke of Edinburgh visited Australia, in all they attended four state banquets and six garden parties. Local produce was high on the Australian government’s agenda, wanting to highlight to ‘her Majesty’ that Australia was a real contender for overseas markets.  What was on her menu for lunch?  Tropical fruits, local fish and poultry with English inspired vegetables, and locally produced wines to match each course served.

Fifty-one years later in 2005, Prince Charles visited Australia to focus on environmental sustainability, community integration and excellence in public service.  As part of his visit, His Royal Highness was transported to Alice Springs and dined on bush tucker, including honey ants, acia seeds, bush tomato and bush banana. The Prince tasted both the bush banana and bush tomato, but he reportedly politely refused to eat any wriggly, witchetty grub, regardless of it being so high in protein. 

For 60,000 years, the Indigenous people of Australia have continued to be the custodians of the land. Colonization started in the late 17th century, where Great Britain used it as a penal colony or prison. As a result, those from England, Wales, and Ireland who settled in Australia dispossessed the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders of the lands they were born to and forced them into a system of colonial rule, while they retained many of their customs and culture.

The Indigenous foraged for food from rainforests to the deserts, using their mealtimes as a mechanism for families and tribes to gather and come together, for ceremony and trade.  Meals continue to be served around where the food is cooked, sitting on the ground.  Fingers are used to break up meats and vegetables.  

Do the Indigenous have a dining protocol?  Yes, they certainly do. Each tribe may have foods that they eat or avoid and have a story that guides the family in their eating habits. During a meal, the best portions of food are given as a sign of respect to the Elders of the tribe.  Adhering to their customs of dining is crucial, as is taking the initiative to eat their foods. In doing so, a guest honors and shows respect to the traditions, land, and people. And that is what it all really is about… respect!

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 Written by: By Elizabeth Soos, Founder of Auersmont School of Etiquette 

14 September 2021, Australia

Category: Protocol

Reference: ES140921PI

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!


If there is something that will be accompanying humanity until the end of its days, it is protocol. It is a practical discipline by nature and that is the reason why there has never been a need to register it, but with the emergence of communication, sciences have begun to be studied. The reason is simple: it is a powerful communication tool that helps connect public and private organizations with their audiences.

One of the problems facing the discipline, which we will discuss in a future article, is the lack of scientific research. 99% of the protocol manuals that we can find today in the market have a practical profile, which means that they are written from a professional perspective and not with a scientific approach. As a result, we can say that to this day no one knows what the protocol really is because the scientific method has not been applied to approach this concept.

The review of the current little scientific literature in protocol leads us to affirm that protocol is a science in embryonic state (Álvarez Rodríguez, 2008; Pulido Polo, 2015; Ramos Fernández, 2013; Ramos Fernández, 2014;  y Sáez González & Martínez Fierro, 2020) that, depending on what the professional and research community does, will be consolidated as a science or remain in a simple auxiliary tool.

So, as a science, what does protocol refer to? According to our research is the science of the human order since it gives us a series of rules and guidelines to ensure peaceful and positive coexistence among human beings. In addition, this regulation takes a special value in the celebration of the symbols -the events- due to its communicative value. Let us think that, from the moment in which two human beings decided to live together, they needed to generate a series of rules that allow them to live together. Who will sleep in the safest place? Who will eat the most nutritious foods? Who has the merits to lead the group? This coexistence will become more and more complex with the growth of the groups, which will make the rules of protocol more like what we know today.

Maribel Gómez and I have come up with a definition of protocol. The objective has been to reflect what the latest scientific literature on the subject gathers, as well as our professional experience to bring discipline to the 21st century and build protocol’s science. This is our proposal which we hope will help to shed light on this subject that is taking its first steps and that supposes not only our profession but the passion for what we do:

“The protocol is a transversal scientific discipline that defines the social structures and norms generated by use, custom, tradition or legislation that society is endowed with to guarantee and facilitate the harmonious coexistence of all its members. As a communication tool that applies to all social areas, the protocol takes special relevance in the organization of events, both public and private, where it provides techniques that make tangible the intangible”

Regarding its scientific approach, as we have already argued, there is no doubt. It is a science in an embryonic state. This means that it is in its beginnings, as it happened with other social sciences such as psychology or sociology at the time.

We are talking about a transversal discipline because it involves civil society, public and private organizations, and institutions. The protocol is present in all layers on which the present society is built. It is a reflection of society, and it changes and adapts along with it.

One of the objectives of the protocol is to give order. Therefore, through this matter, we can describe the state and social structures of the society to which it belongs. For example, reading the Royal Decree 2099/1983 of precedence (art. 10 and 12) of the Kingdom of Spain, we can have a broad idea of how this country is structured.

It produces rules generated by either considering what society usually does (customs or traditions), or those generated by legislative channels from the current Government. All this with a final aim: to guarantee and structure the coexistence of a certain social group.

It is a communication tool because it is used by institutions, private companies, and civil society to communicate. And therefore, the rules produced by the protocol take on special relevance in the organization of events, public or private.

Protocol makes the intangible tangible because it allows us to speak without words. It is a very important ally to generate institutional or corporate image in organizations and social people. It uses its basic four principles elements: spaces, people, times, and symbols. Within the latter, for example, we consider the flags of countries, since they make it clear to us who is hosting an event without the need for words.

In conclusion, we would like to address all those interested in the subject of the protocol. We expect professionals to find this definition interesting and appropriate. To the students of the subject, we hope that it has helped them to shed light on what your future work will be, and we encourage you to research in protocol. And to non-expert people, we hope that it will help you to understand a little better what protocol really is and what we professionals do in the field.


Álvarez Rodríguez, M. L. (2008). Artículos de protocolo y ceremonial en Revistas Académicas Iberoamericanas. Razón y Palabra. Primera revista electrónica en lationoamérica especializada en comunicación, (65), 1-11.

Delmás Martín, D., & Gómez Hernando, M. (2019). Spoilers de Protocolo. (Editorum, Ed.) (1a Edición). Madrid: Editorum.

Orozco López, J. de D. (2016). Protocolo para la organización de actos oficiales y empresariales. (I. Editorial, Ed.). Antequera: ic editorial.

Pulido Polo, M. (2015). Ceremonial y protocolo: métodos y técnicas de investigación científica. Revista de Comunicación Vivat Academia, 65, 1137-1156.

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 Written by: Daniel DELMÁS, Professional of events and protocol

30 July 2021, The Netherlands

Category: Internancional Protocol 

Reference: DD300721IP

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