Relevance and Adaptability: The New Normal Mantra

Businesses function as a combination of factors that are complementary to each other. It is no longer wise to be apolitical in business, but overly tying oneself to political issues is also not recommended. Explaining this delicate balance, Brad Staples, CEO—of APCO Worldwide, spoke of how businesses were redefining global priorities, looking to make their future secure. With over 25 years of experience in devising public affairs strategies and campaigns, Mr. Staples dished out his take on how Public Affairs will look in the New Normal.

Public Affairs is a culmination of using communication to address concerns and build trust amongst stakeholders around issues of governmental nature. Public Affairs and Government Relations are gaining extreme attention for various purposes such as seeking government support for the organization and so on, says Mr Staples. This can be due to the current era’s increased disparity and distortion. The world as we know it today has changed drastically in the past few years. A global pandemic, increased polarization over socio-political issues, several of which assumed mainstream focus in recent times— racial bias, mob lynching, boycotts, failing infrastructure, inflation, catastrophic wars, and broadening of the gap between socioeconomic classes of people.

In light of such serious issues at the forefront, as a brand, it is pointless to maintain an apolitical stand. Brands must embrace addressing geopolitical and commerce issues.
A pertinent example of businesses adapting to the new normal would be best explained by the hybrid model of working. The pandemic has effectively shattered trade lines and economic models. And one of the relevant changes experienced was the relationship between the employer and employee. It has undergone a complete transformation— resetting the traditional patterns for hybrid and work-from-home models.

Speaking to Ramya Rajagopalan, Head of Communications & Diversity—Siemens India, Mr. Staples speaks about businesses gearing up to address global macro trends. The Russia-Ukraine war affected business trends and changed the face of a dynamic Europe. In such times, a multistakeholder approach becomes increasingly important, along with politicization. Bonding over their collective fondness for Goan food, Ms. Rajagopalan spoke of culture as an anchor to steady brands in their turbulent times. Brands can only stay afloat if they’re willing to break through conventional norms and bring home an inclusive culture that is both diverse and equitable.

Rounding up the talk, the speakers concluded that the key for brands to truly survive in such unpredictable times was—To Listen. Listening, although underrated, is the ultimate way to become adaptable. Relevance springs from adaptability and helps brands make the journey all the ahead.

Author: Digital Onca

Digital Onca is a blog that documents the concepts of Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Digital Onca is the effort to stay with the times, understand more deeply, more closely the working of a digital space that is steadfastly emerging around us.

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