Should you kiss in business? And what do the Roman’s do anyway?

Shake hands or kiss?
Following our recent, very serious and heavily commented on, debate over the wearing of ties; we thought we would address another of the pressing technical PR and business issues of the day.

Should you hug and kiss people when you meet them in business?

For instance, in Russia it’s quite common to kiss your business colleagues on the mouth. This is demonstrated famously by some legendary photographs of Gorbachev.

Of course, the French kiss three times when they meet and very often replicate this practice in business.

I’m reliably informed by Oana Baetica, Stone Junction’s resident Romanian, that in her country of origin men don’t shake hands with women. Doing so would be a failure to acknowledge the woman in question as a lady. Furthermore, although women have now started to shake hands in the higher echelons of Romanian business culture, the country’s attitude to kissing is much like the English one.

But what is the English one?

I recently attended a meeting with some journalists, one of whom I had met many times before over the course of more than twelve years and hold in very high regard. I shook hands with everyone else but when I went to shake hands with the editor in question I discovered that our relationship had evolved into a hug and light kiss on the cheek.

So when does that happen? Do you have to have known someone for a long time? Do you have to have to have not seen them for a while and known them for a long time? And what do you do in other cultures? Do you retain your Englishness, Russianness, Frenchness or Romanianness and kiss accordingly? Or do you adopt the style of the country you are in – doing in Rome as the Romans do?

And what do the Roman’s do anyway?

Let us know your thoughts.

Subscribe to Insights into PR and online marketing

Bookmark and Share

Richard Stone - Stone Junction

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.


All Torque Trans said...

Who had the fun time writing all the tags for this one?

Richard Stone said...

That would be me - with a little help from a thesaurus!