The protocol is a discipline as old as the human being. In recent times it has undergone major changes and has taken a lot of importance at the research level. The professionals of the subject have begun to realize that, what is studied in the universities, is far from what is exercised at the professional level. The result is that today we have a profession that goes so ahead of what students see in the classroom.
In order to reduce this space between both, Maribel Gómez and I, we have composed our own definition. The objective has been to capture what, from our point of view and professional experience, is the protocol in order to advance this matter a little more. This is our proposal:
“The protocol is a transversal scientific discipline that defines the social structures and rules generated by use, custom, tradition or legislation that a society is endowed itself to guarantee and facilitate the coexistence in harmony of all its members. As a communication tool that applies to all social spheres, the protocol takes on special relevance in the organization of events, both public and private, where it provides techniques that make the intangible tangible.”
The great change of recent years is that it has become a scientific discipline. Research is being carried out through the scientific method and knowledge is built based on other areas such as law or sociology, among others.
We talk about a transversal discipline because it impregnates civil society, public and private companies and institutions. The protocol is present in all strata on which current society is built.
One of the objectives of the protocol is to order. This is the reason why, through this discipline, we can describe the state and social structures of the society to which it belongs. For example, by reading Royal Decree 2099/1983 of precedents of the Kingdom of Spain, we can have a broad idea of how our country is structured.
It produces rules generated by either taking into account what society usually does (custom), or those generated by legislative channels from the prevailing power. All with an ultimate goal: guarantee the coexistence of a certain social group.
It is a communication tool because it is used by institutions, private companies and civil society to speak to others. And so, the rules produced by the protocol take on special relevance in the organization of events, public or private.
They make the intangible tangible, because they allow us to say many things without words. The protocol is a very important ally to generate institutional or corporate image in organizations, and social to people.
I hope that the protocol professionals find this definition interesting and appropriate. To the students of the subject, I hope it has helped you shed some light on what your future work will be. And to the lay people in the matter, I hope it helps you to understand this precious profession that, does not break or skips, and that is much more than ordering the cutlery on the table, or answering the question of whether the godmother carries or not blanket at the wedding.
Feel free to provide any comments that you find interesting. And if you want to expand on the subject (and you can read in Spanish), I recommend the book Spoilers de Protocol for which this protocol definition was made.