Scottish Government unveils 2018 comms priorities

Supporting Scotland's public services, promoting it as a place to live and work and protecting the interests of its communities during Brexit negotiations are among the priorities set out in the Scottish Government's new comms plan.

Promoting a greener future for Scotland is one priority outlined in the new comms plan (pic credit: Scottish Government)
Promoting a greener future for Scotland is one priority outlined in the new comms plan (pic credit: Scottish Government)

Scottish Government comms will adhere to five core principles in the coming year, the report said, with a move towards a digital-first strategy that will "place the strongest emphasis on digital and social-media activity" to reflect the changing way in which the public interacts with government.

It will also base comms activity carried out by its 70-strong team on evidence and insight, then carry out evaluation to test the impact of its work.

Another key principle, in keeping with the recent launch of a Northern Ireland comms plan, is collaboration, with government comms chiefs explaining that they will work with external bodies, such as VisitScotland and Universities Scotland, to promote the country as a "great place to live, work, study and visit".

The plan also sets out the Government’s comms priorities for next year.

These include plans to promote and highlight some of Scotland’s new public-sector institutions, including the Scottish National Investment Bank.

And as part of its green agenda, comms will promote the switch to a low-carbon future to people and organisations with the aim of encouraging behaviour change.

Comms will also support the development of children, with plans to highlight programmes for early years learning and childcare as well as supporting the delivery of education reforms to close the poverty-related attainment gap.

And comms will also play a key part in the Scottish Government’s plans to protect its interests and influence the UK Government during the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

The report said there was a "great deal of uncertainty in relation to Brexit and its consequences" and that one comms priority in the coming year would be to highlight "efforts to protect the rural economy and interests during the Brexit negotiations and to encourage stakeholders to submit their views to the UK Government so that our circumstances and experience can inform their policy development".

In the current financial year, the Scottish Government has carried out at least 20 large campaigns for which it has a budget of approximately £5m.

Commenting on the plan, Scottish Government head of comms John Booth said: "Good communication is part of the Scottish Government’s fabric. Internally it contributes to organisational transformation and externally it helps build trust, shift attitudes and change behaviours."

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