Author: Stephanie Koestier

Scottish Dental and The Herald team up for survey

An image of a dental patient and a dentist looking at a screen. The Scottish Dental magazine and The Herald logos are in the top left corner.

What has your experience of dentistry been like post-pandemic? 

Scottish Dental magazine, a Connect-owned title, has teamed up with The Herald to discover the public’s view of NHS dentistry.

A new survey has been launched to gather people’s opinions and experiences, with the results due to be revealed in the run-up to the Scottish Dental Show which returns to Braehead Arena on 31 May-1 June.

The Scottish Government is facing a “six-month check-up” on the reforms to the dental system that were introduced in November. Senior officials will deliver an update on the changes at the annual show – the biggest gathering of dental professionals in Scotland.

Chief Dental Officer Tom Ferris, Deputy Chief Dental Officer Gillian Leslie and Dental Care Professional Advisor Elaine Hutchison will provide an update on the reform’s progress as part of the Scottish Dental Show’s education programme.

Fees – for fillings, extractions, dentures, root canal and other common dental treatments –  were increased with the aim of making it more affordable for dental surgeries to provide these on an NHS basis. The hope was that NHS activity would increase as a result, reducing waiting lists and making dental treatment more accessible again to patients on the NHS instead of having to go private. 

Routine check-ups also changed. Instead of fixed six-monthly recalls, dentists can now choose how often a patient should have an NHS dental examination based on their treatment needs. This can range from less than six months to once every two years.

The Government said the changes were designed to “empower dentists to use their clinical discretion and knowledge of best practice in delivering care”.

The Scottish Dental Show, a two-day event bringing together the biggest innovators and names in the dental industry, will provide dental professionals with a unique opportunity to share their thoughts on the reform and have their questions answered directly by government officials.

All answers are recorded anonymously with the results revealed in the run-up to the Scottish Dental Show on 31 May-1 June. 

Have your say today! Find out more and answer the survey here. Learn more about the Scottish Dental Show here.

Hoppy Easter from Connect!

Text reads 'Hoppy Easter from Connect!' and a bunny's ears are sticking out from a hole in the ground.

Spring has sprung! The year is flying by and the first months of 2024 have been filled with new projects and exciting challenges. We’ve celebrated hitting a milestone for our client’s social media, shone a spotlight on podcasts for Scottish Apprenticeship Week, reflected on some inspiring author interviews for World Book Day, and much more! Make sure you’re up to date with our latest news here.

We want to thank our clients for a successful start to the year, and we’re looking forward to what the rest of 2024 has in store. 

For now, our team is ready to stock up on chocolate eggs and enjoy some of that April sunshine! Our office will be open on Good Friday (29 March) but closed for Easter Monday (1 April). Members of the team will still be available for urgent or ongoing work. 

Hoppy Easter!

The Importance of International and National Holidays in Communications

An image of a phone screen showing our Time to Talk Day campaign for IIRSM and a laptop showing the Nature-Based Solutions podcast being played on Spotify.

Whether it’s International Women’s Day or World Book Day, national and international holidays are a crucial part of any organisation’s communication strategy.

Taking part in these occasions has a myriad of benefits for your brand awareness, and there’s bound to be one that aligns with your business objectives. 

Light-hearted occasions such as National Pizza Day can really show off your company’s personality, whereas marking important dates like International Women’s Day provides an excellent opportunity to let your audience know you’re committed to being an equal and fair employer. We’ve previously helped many of our clients with their International Women’s Day campaigns, including The Weir Group. We worked with them on their Women of Weir campaign, shining a spotlight on some of their inspirational female employees. With all these special dates, it’s important to do what’s right for you and your business. Developing a catchy line like ‘Women of Weir’ made the day their own and allowed the organisation to not only show the people behind the business but highlighted the fact that they support their female employees.

Addressing holidays can also position your company as an expert in your field. Commenting on topics such as Stress Awareness Day or World Wildlife Day by adding and highlighting thought pieces and attracting an audience that you may not have reached previously is an excellent way to build these days into your overall company communications strategy.

The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) was keen to highlight its commitment to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, so it was only fitting that we helped the team develop campaigns for Time To Talk Day and Stress Awareness Day. Using simple graphics in IIRSM branding to highlight their professional development webinars in stress management, psychological safety and more meant a higher chance of the right people finding their content, while positioning themselves as an organisation that values mental health as well as physical.

Weeks like National Apprenticeship Week (5-11 February 2024) offer opportunities to highlight our clients’ commitment to training the talent of the future. We worked with GMG Construction to develop an article that reaffirmed their dedication to investing in apprentices. We highlighted some achievements in this area – including that more than 90% of GMG managers were once apprentices! 

With SELECT and SECTT, the charitable body which oversees the training programme for electrical apprentices, we worked together to promote their podcast Sparks’ Remarks. This is a podcast for electrical apprentices, by electrical apprentices, which aims to attract new talent to the industry. Highlighting it during this topical week meant increased visibility for their message from the people that matter most to them. 

And speaking of podcasts – even they have their day! International Podcast Day, which is observed on September 30, provides an excellent opportunity to market your podcast. 

We’ve been lucky to work on many thought-provoking, engaging, creative and essential podcasts for our clients, including Space Intelligence’s Nature-Based Solutions podcast and UKRI’s Emissions: Impossible? Learn more about our podcast offering here.

So no matter your platform or content, there’s bound to be a holiday that works for you and your company’s communication strategy. 

March is a jam-packed month with the likes of World Book Day and International Women’s Day, but April is no different! With April Fool’s Day, World Art Day and Earth Day just some of the holidays coming up, now’s the time to reassess your communication strategy.

And that’s where we come in! Take your communications to the next level today, by chatting to our friendly team at +44(0) 141 561 0300 or by emailing

World Book Yay!

A graphic that reads 'It's World Book Day!'. Beneath these words sits three magazine covers, featuring in order Val McDermid, Douglas Stuart and Liz Lochhead. To the right of these magazines is a cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in a hand.

It’s World Book Day – the annual celebration of reading and literature marked by more than 100 countries. 

The event, created by Unesco in 1995, aims to encourage people, especially children, to embrace the pleasure of books. 

The Connect team has been privileged to interview some of the UK’s best-selling writers about their favourite books, as part of our longstanding relationship with the National Library of Scotland to produce its magazine, Discover, which is free to members and visitors.  

We relaunched the magazine in 2022 following a redesign and revamp of the content approach, based on research and reader feedback. 

Val McDermid

For the first new-look issue, Scotland’s queen of crime fiction Val McDermid told us how she has been “addicted” to reading since childhood and “lived at” the Central Library in Kirkcaldy, where she would devour the Chalet School series of books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer.

She told us how she rereads Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson “pretty much every year”. 

Douglas Stuart

Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart told Discover how discovering work by Scots authors such as Agnes Owens, George Friel and James Kelman was a “revelation”. The Glaswegian was inspired to tell his people’s stories in their own voices and began writing his hit debut novel, Shuggie Bain

Stuart told us that Gentlemen of the West by Owens is one of his favourite books and that he will be “forever indebted to Kelman”, who is the only other Scot to win the Booker, for How Late It Was, How Late. 

Liz Lochhead

For the summer 2023 issue of Discover, former Makar Liz Lochhead discussed her love of Robert Burns and how his work inspired her own poems and lifelong love of performing poetry. 

She spoke to Discover just after the publication of the 50th anniversary edition of her debut collection of poems, Memo For Spring, which shook up the male-dominated poetry world in 1972. 

Lochhead said: “I didn’t write to encourage other women to write. I wrote because I didn’t see why I shouldn’t.”

Professor David Olusoga

Meanwhile, historian and BBC broadcaster Professor David Olusoga – who wrote the groundbreaking Black and British: A Forgotten History – recommended Hugh Kearney’s “brilliant” The British Isles: A History of Four Nations and The Price of Scotland by Douglas Watt. 

Find out more

You can read more of these interviews and back issues of Discover at

The next issue will be out in summer 2024. Discover is available free at the Library at George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, and Kelvin Hall, Glasgow. 

Lifetime Achievement Award for Peter Nicholson

We are thrilled to announce that Peter Nicholson has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Herald Law Awards.

Editor of the Law Society of Scotland’s Journal magazine since 2003, Peter has been recognised due to his exceptional contribution and dedication to the legal profession, keeping the Society’s members abreast of all important and trending topics for two decades and seeing the publication into the digital age. For more than 20 years before that, he edited the Scots Law Times, one of the leading series of law reports covering the Scottish courts, as well as Greens Weekly Digest and other key reference works for the Scottish profession.

Peter was presented with the prestigious award at the event on Wednesday 15 November, where 300 guests from across the legal sector had gathered to celebrate the achievement. This is not the first time Peter has been recognised by the profession either, with the Society bestowing Honorary Membership just earlier this year – and he is only the 21st person to have received such an accolade.

Diane McGiffen, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland said: “This award is a celebration of Peter’s outstanding contribution to the Scottish legal profession.

“Peter has served the profession as editor of the Journal for the last 20 years curating insightful and compelling content with his unwavering professionalism, extensive knowledge and characteristic calm.

“He has seen the Journal through significant periods of change, evolving with the times to consistently meet our members’ needs with the development of an online magazine, daily news updates and social media content. Under Peter’s leadership, the Journal has been a reliably relevant news source to an ever changing and increasingly diverse profession.

“The fact that the Journal received a round of applause from the 300 guests at the ceremony is testament of the high regard in which the magazine is held and it was a privilege to see Peter accept this prestigious and well-deserved award ahead of his retirement later this year.”

Alan Ramsay, our Managing Director, said: “This is the second major honour for Peter this year and we’re delighted he’s been recognised in the 2023 Herald Law Awards. Peter and his Connect colleagues have contributed to the success of the Journal over a period of 20-plus years and his lifetime achievement award is testament to him and the whole team.”

Peter Nicholson responded: “I am overwhelmed at receiving this award and immensely grateful to those who thought me worthy of it. I never imagined when I secured my first editorial post in 1981 that I would leave on such a high, but I have always tried to produce quality work that legal professionals could rely on and my sincere thanks are also due to all my colleagues at Connect and throughout my career who have supported me in that aim. I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition.”

Peter’s career began when he graduated from the University of Edinburgh Law School before qualifying as a solicitor in 1981. He is a multi-award winning Editor after his career of more than 40 years across numerous legal publications.

The entire Connect team is proud of Peter and delighted to see him recognised for his excellence and professionalism. Please join us in congratulating him on this incredible achievement!