Many people often use the term public affairs and public relations interchangeably, but they are, in fact, two completely different terms.
This is mainly due to the role they play when developing a company’s image and reputation in the court of public opinion.
In order for your company to progress and settle into the market in a comfortable position, it is essential for you to network with like-minded individuals to build reliable connections.
Networking and building up reliable connections are one of the most fundamental components that can determine whether a business will sink or float.
This is mainly because the fact that these connections will help you develop a premium clientele in the future, and this is where public affairs come into play.
Let us discuss this in a bit of detail, talking about what public affairs actually is and looking at some of the trends in public affairs which may be expected in the future.
What Are Public Affairs And Why Is It Important
As discussed earlier, people often consider public affairs to be the same thing as public relations. Although that can technically be correct, there are many distinctions due to which they are considered to be two separate entities.
When talking about PA and PR, although the purpose they fulfill for an organization is very similar, they take completely different approaches to fulfill these results.
As the name suggests, both of these concepts involve interaction with the public, but how they do so is what makes them different from each other.
The approach that public affairs take when conversing with the public is that it tries to relate to matters which directly affect the public rather than working behind the scenes, bridging the gap between the public and the organization.
Due to this, public relations are associated with the business sector, whereas matters which the public affairs department tends to are more geared towards political and non-corporate entities, such as government agencies and non-profits.
Now that we have understood what public affairs are, another question arises: why is it so crucial for a company’s long-term growth?
There are many reasons why public affairs are something that is considered to be an integral part of any brand. One of the most important reasons is that this provides you with an effective strategy that can help you make sure that the interests of your brand are not left behind.
In addition to that, one of the main responsibilities of a public affairs team is to maintain a positive relationship with the company’s internal audience.
This can include the stakeholders and legislators who are an important part of the company due to the fact that the stakeholders are the ones who dictate the size of the company’s finance pool.
Future Trends in Public Affairs
From a global pandemic spreading throughout the entire globe to the uncertainties which have stemmed from election uncertainties, a lot of significant events have occurred recently, which have considerably affected the general public.
Such events have created a number of short and long-term events for the public, and in order to adapt to these, here are some of the trends we may observe in the future.
Job Changes on the Rise
One of the main aspects of our day-to-day lives, which turned completely upside down due to the pandemic, was how we worked.
No one could step outside of their homes due to the raging pandemic, and in order to adapt to this change, companies had to alter their entire work setup so that work became sufficient and achievable while working at home.
This work-from-home trend has become such a rising trend that there are several notable organizations that have shut down their office premises and have now switched over to a complete work-from-home workplace model.
After companies saw the potential and long-term benefits of adopting this strategy, many companies began going remote, and this was not only beneficial for them, but it was great for the employees as well.
The idea that your workplace could now be a few footsteps away from you was very alluring to the people, and after weighing in the financial benefits, many people started to resign from their office posts to go for remote jobs.
So much so that it resulted in a famous worldwide phenomenon known as the great resignation. Companies have not started to take note of this. Due to the upsurge in resignations throughout the globe, their focus has now changed from hiring new employees to retaining their current workforce.
Organizations Favor Good Communicators
Gone are the days when organizations would hire you just because you had a slightly diverse skillset. Another trend that has noticed a significant rise and will continue to rise in the upcoming years is that organizations are now favoring people who excel in communication, above all others.
A diverse and well-developed skillset will definitely be considered, but companies are now moving towards hiring individuals who have the proper capabilities to develop and maintain relationships and have strong oral and written communication skills.
The Rise of Virtual Lobbying
The pandemic has seen a considerable number of changes, one of them being the introduction of completely remote workplaces. Due to this, virtual meetings have also become a thing.
Furthermore, even after the risk of the pandemic went down and things started to go back to normal, organizations chose to keep this virtual meeting concept around.
This was mainly due to the convenience it offered, and several reports have hinted at the fact that this feature is here to stay.
This was just a short guide on what trends you can expect in public affairs in the future, which might lead to a considerable change in the strategy which may be developed as a result.
As discussed previously, many events have occurred in recent years which have had a global impact, due to which the entire public affairs industry has been reshaped.
However, these trends can be of great help in preparing you for what changes in the landscape public affairs may entail in the future.