iving in a world where the major system of governance is a democratic one, we are plagued with the uncertainty that our lives can change at any given point and time. A sovereign governing body makes decisions about matters of higher significance that directly impact our lifestyle and choices. The past few years have accompanied major changes due to the onset of Covid-19, which has subsequently changed the landscape of public affairs. Moving forward, we should be well aware and prepared for how our lives will evolve and what trends to expect in 2023 regarding public affairs.
What Are Public Affairs?
Public affairs refer to the relations between various organizations regarding topics of utmost importance, such as corporate and governmental activities, media communications, government relations, social responsibility, and information dissemination. Public affairs essentially shape people’s views regarding various aspects of their lives. For instance, a media campaign can be used to change the public’s view about adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, encourage recycling, save water, or decrease the usage of fossil fuels like petrol and shift to electric cars instead.
Public Affairs vs. Public Relations: What’s the Difference?
Both public affairs and public relations involve communicating and building relationships with the general public. While there are numerous similarities between the two, public affairs work is more political, while public relations has a more commercial focus.
Public affairs focus on the engagement between three major groups: the business industry, the government, and the public. The area consists of topics that directly affect the people, such as legislation regarding the participation of women or minor ethnicities in the government, urban affairs, and legal matters of justice and peace. On the other hand, public relations is a blanket term that generalizes how a communication strategy helps mold profitable and meaningful relationships between organizations and their target audience. This area solely focuses on building a relationship between the public and any specific organization; this could be the relationship a brand has with its public, meaning that each organization will have its specific public and specific relations with the public.
Public Affairs: What to expect in 2023?
2022 has been a rollercoaster ride when it comes to public affairs. Let’s look at what the experts say regarding what to expect this year.
Environment Protection Strategies
Since the world is experiencing an accelerating rate of climate change, it is high time to become eco-friendly and start taking action toward preserving the environment. For this reason, in 2023, the public affairs sector might try to convince the public to use LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs to decrease energy usage. Other than that, we can also expect a shift in the popularity of electric cars compared to traditional fuel-powered cars since many countries plan to significantly reduce the production of petrol and diesel cars and hybrid cars by 2035. This will be done through the help of media and by setting more charging ports on roads to make the commute more convenient, safer, and reliable.
A shift in paper usage is also expected as the world becomes more digitalized and more reliance is placed on soft copies rather than hard copies of data. The aim is to prevent the deforestation of trees from preventing climate change and decreasing pollution. This could be achieved by explaining to the public how digitalized records are safer and easily accessible and how the costs of buying and carrying materials can be drastically minimized by going digital.
The increased shift towards cloud-based systems has dramatically increased the risk of cybercrime. This has pushed the demand for better cybersecurity tools and methods. Throughout 2023, we might see a shift towards better cybersecurity, starting from the basics. These steps include setting complex passwords and changing them often and setting two-factor authentication for all platforms.
Moreover, due to the rise in remote jobs and hybrid working conditions, cyberattacks have become more common than ever. Keeping this in mind, the importance of preventing employees from using their devices will be highlighted, and the significance of using safe networks will also be stressed.
Businesses will also be asked to use similar domain names to significantly decrease the chances of their stakeholders being scammed. Companies will also be encouraged to conduct penetration testing to audit the vulnerabilities in their systems.
USB C Chargers
In the European Union, a law has been introduced that by 2024 all ‘small’ devices will only be paired with the USB C cable for charging. This has been done to reduce the production of different charging cables and to prevent customers from buying new cables every time they get a new phone. This will hopefully translate to less wastage, thereby decreasing pollution.
The public will also be encouraged to share charging cables with one another despite having phones from different brands. Phone companies will take a significant hit due to this law, especially Apple since it produces its chargers. Since the EU has initiated this step, other countries will likely follow suit.
A circular economy is an environmentally friendly model focusing on sharing, reusing, and recycling materials to decrease waste and pollution. The introduction of techniques in this model will be seen in various aspects of our daily life, production, or consumption. People will be expected to use public transport to improve air quality, recycling materials and waste bins might become a common sight, and factories might be penalized if they fail to recycle and reuse all their materials completely.
With a fragile global economy and rising inflation, industries feel pressured to use cost-effective methods for selling their products or services. The public sector usually works on a budget with limited resources while facing a higher demand.
Public affairs organizations will be pushed to manage their cash flow effectively, collect payments and taxes promptly, and ensure that public funding counties are available for all the required services.