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A business meeting in the United States typically begins with a handshake greeting.

But that’s not the case everywhere.  Handshakes, hugs, kisses and combinations thereof are all customary in some places.

And what about the business/personal combo greeting?

Here’s a poll on the customary greetings of members of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), which has grown to nearly 50 independent agencies in the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Canada, Pacific Rim, South Asia and the Caribbean.


  1. Handshake – 13
  2. Hug no kiss – 9
  3. Hug and one kiss – 8
  4. Kiss on each check – 8
  5. Three kisses – 4
  6. One kiss on one cheek – 2

Another variable is whether the greeting is between two men, two women or a man and a woman.

I’d hate to offend with a handshake when three kisses are appropriate.  Even worse to create an HR headache!

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio


  1. David Landis says:

    I always go for the hug, but then that’s the California way! Cheers, David

  2. Scott Hanson says:

    I didn’t even mention the “secret handshake!”

  3. David Powell says:

    In the Cullen Communications boardroom, a standard number 1 would be the norm – but we have also seen numbers 2, 3 and 4 depending on who’s involved!

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