Protocol in Practice

By Kasey Cranfill, Protocol Intern

Hello, my name is Kasey Cranfill and I am the Protocol Intern here at The International Center. I graduated from Purdue last year with a degree in Anthropology focusing on cultural and applied anthropology. My goal for this internship has been to see the applied field in action even if what gets done here would rarely be labeled as anthropology.

My hands-on experience in this regard has come from shadowing and assisting Peter Kirkwood, the Protocol Director for The International Center. In anthropology you are taught to think and look at things from a holistic approach. This involves taking everything into account while keeping in mind the larger picture so that everything fits into place. Protocol seems to me to be a perfect example of this because you have to take everything into account. The smallest details are important, such as to whom do you send invitations — and where, how you address them in a greeting, who sits where, who sits in what car on the way to the meeting, and various other minute things. While you think about this you have to keep in mind the overall goal you are trying to achieve in order to have a successful meeting, event, ceremony, or whatever it may be.
That brings us to the importance of protocol and being able to think in this holistic manner. It boils down to making whatever it is you’re planning run smoothly and that the mechanics of the efficiency be out of sight to those participating. When two dignitaries meet they don’t want to be concerned about sitting in the wrong place or how to get from place to place. Protocol allows them to get down to what they need to focus on. Everyone will be more relaxed and able to do what is needed.
I’ve learned a lot in this first month here at The International Center, most important being how effective what they do can be. The recent announcement of the new electric car sharing program brought to Indianapolis by the French company Bolloré is a prime example of protocol getting all the planning and management out of the way so that important things can get done.

l. to r. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Manager of Automotive-Aerospace at Ubifrance Georges Ucko,
President and CEO of The International Center Diane Thomas,
and Vice President and General Manager of IER, Inc. Herve Muller