I was wondering if you could help me with a protocol question. My organization is preparing a letter to The President that will have 30-40 (rather eminent/famous) signatories. Were we to include the physical signature of each signatory, the letter could end up dozens of pages in length—something we want to avoid.
My question is: What is the correct protocol in this scenario? Can we simply print the names of the signatories in a compact list at the bottom of the letter? Or are the physical signatures essential? Any additional information you have would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,
— Burke Mathman
Dear Mr. Mathman:
I don’t know of protocol specifically for multiple signatures letters …. but in ceremonies, when there are too many people to participate in ceremony (e.g., be on the platform), a useful practice is to select one person to represent all those in the large group — which keeps the number of participants manageable.
So if you follow that model, you would have, say, the chairman sign and all the other (eminent/famous) siignatories listed.
I see that format used in The New York Times when a group takes out a full-page ad on some issue, and the letter signed by many luminaries: the lead person’s signature appears and all the rest are listed by name, or name and position.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info