212 | 30, pp. 211-227 | doxa.comunicación

January-June of 2020

Protocol: analysis of official university studies in Spain

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

1. State of the issue

1.1. Protocol and events in communication degrees

The field of organisational communication addresses the complex framework of directing and managing planning and communication tools. Several authors consider protocol to be a public relations tool since it is one of the most effective forms of communication as interpersonal communication is enhanced through events (Otero, 2009; Marín Calahorro, 2000, Castillo-Esparcia and Fernández-Torres; 2015).

Traditionally, protocol managers were professionals who were trained by their colleagues and learned on the job. In some cases, these experts came from backgrounds such as Advertising and Public Relations, Tourism or Law. In others, the profession was practised without doing any previous official study, and the knowledge was obtained through own degrees, courses, congresses, and the limited but valuable scientific literature from academic experts.

From the field of communication, Protocol was part of the contents of some subjects in the Advertising and Public Relations degree. This can be seen in the Libro Blanco. Título de Grado en Comunicación, which was published to establish a framework document to adapt Spanish studies to the Bologna plan. The degree in Advertising and Public Relations includes “Foundations, Structures and the organisation of advertising communication and public relations” the subject includes the “capacity to organise, execute and evaluate events, taking special care over their design, cost control and protocol”.

In 2005, Sierra and Sotelo (2008) identified that 11 of the 41 universities with Information Sciences studies offered core, free electives, area of study electives and general education electives on Protocol and 10 of the centres analysed offered Protocol in postgraduate studies.

Hernández, Losada, and Matilla (2009) examined the postgraduate studies on offer in corporate communication in Spain. They concluded that only two degrees included the terms “public relations” and “corporate communication”, opting for other words such as “protocol” or “event management”. Events was also included in the title of a third of the studies analysed.

due to its potential growth. This paper proposes an analysis of the official titles of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees to know their characteristics, contents, competencies, and professional profiles. Among the conclusions, there is little difference between the offer of undergraduate and master’s training, and there is a greater focus on the area of events rather than on protocol itself.


Protocol; communication; degree; master’s degree; university.

mero de estudios oficiales resulta aún limitado, lo que la convierte en un área de interés por su potencial crecimiento. Se propone en este trabajo un análisis de las titulaciones oficiales de grado y más-ter para conocer sus características, contenidos, competencias y per-files profesionales. Se observa entre las conclusiones, poca diferencia entre la oferta formativa de grado y máster y un enfoque mayor en el área de eventos que en el propio protocolo.

Palabras clave:

Protocolo; comunicación; grado; máster; universidad.