Category: News

Visuals for the future with CEME 

An image of a laptop screen with our bespoke digital publication displayed for CEME's Hydrogen Innovators and the Future summit.

It is always rewarding to work with our clients on projects that bring their activities to life through eye-catching visuals, for events and online.

We supported CEME’s recent Hydrogen Innovators and the Future summit, which brought more than 180 industry representatives, university innovators and policymakers together to discuss the potential for hydrogen, with a bespoke digital publication highlighting the various themes discussed by the keynote speakers and panellists.

Greater London is expected to be transformed over the next 30 years, with infrastructure projects including the Lower Thames Crossing and the developing Thames Freeport planned to generate jobs and opportunities for the area.

From its base in Rainham, CEME has been playing its part in raising awareness of the potential of a new hydrogen energy infrastructure in the region and aims to offer office space, hydrogen-ready demonstrator facilities and scale-up support through a Hydrogen Innovation Centre.

In addition to writing and designing the digital publication, we helped CEME upgrade their on-site branding at various points, including a green technology-inspired feature wall at the entrance and reception area, bespoke pattern window coverings in the atrium and striking panels for the auditorium. 

CEME CEO Noorzaman Rashid said: “Together with our partners, we are working on innovative solutions for our future. The demand for green hydrogen is projected to grow exponentially in the coming years as industries and governments seek to decarbonise and meet net-zero targets. Through the new digital publication, we wanted to offer various perspectives on hydrogen to a wide variety of stakeholders for our summit and beyond.

“Connect has also helped us to improve the ambience of our campus – the reception area designs are going down really well and the atrium window looks fabulous.”

If you would like to discuss our work and how we can help you achieve your goals, please reach out to our team on +44(0) 141 561 0300 or email us at

A record-breaking Scottish Dental Show

This year’s record-breaking Scottish Dental Show was another huge success – with more attendees, supporters and social media activity than ever before.

Nearly 2,000 delegates attended sessions with our expert speakers, met industry innovators and took the chance to catch up with colleagues from across the profession.

Attendees praised the positive atmosphere and the wide-ranging educational programme at the 11th annual event.

And as well as creating a buzz at Braehead Arena, the show also reached a new audience on social media as attendees shared their thoughts and pictures. 

Compared with on-the-day figures from 2023, the Scottish Dental Show’s reach from 31 May – 1 June increased by 1581% on Facebook and 231% on Instagram, with delegates and exhibitors actively posting on social media throughout the event. Discovery of the Scottish Dental brand also grew to new heights, with Facebook visits at an 132% increase on the previous year and Instagram profile visits up by 53%.

Next year’s event is already proving popular, with half the exhibitor stands for the Scottish Dental Show 2025 booked up and 75% of sponsorships confirmed. Book your exhibitor stand now to secure your place.

Ann Craib, Sales and Events Manager for Scottish Dental, said: “I’m delighted to say this has been our best show to date. We’ve had record numbers and delighted exhibitors, which makes my job so worthwhile. It’s been a real team effort!”

Another first came this year when Scottish Dental magazine teamed up with The Herald to launch a survey on the public’s opinion of NHS dentistry reform. The results revealed that the many patients said they had to seek private treatment due to a lack of available NHS dental care. 

Will Peakin, Editor of Scottish Dental, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people catching up with colleagues, meeting suppliers and advisers and benefitting from a world-class education programme. A huge thank you to them and, especially, to the programme speakers who delivered such high-quality CPD content. As well as providing insight into the state of NHS dentistry, the Herald survey also served to publicise the show in the run-up.”

Scottish Dental is a Connect-owned title published every two months which informs dental professionals of important profession updates, key industry topics and developments, and new products and innovations to help practices run more smoothly. The magazine has a strong relationship with the profession, highlighting the challenges it faces but also showcasing its achievements.

The annual Scottish Dental Show enables dental professionals to earn CPD, see demonstrations of new products, and network with professionals from across the international dental community. The show welcomes both new and returning exhibitors and speakers and continues to grow its number of attendees.

A huge thank you to all our exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and delegates for joining us for the Scottish Dental Show 2024. We hope you enjoyed the event.

Good news! The Scottish Dental Show will return to Braehead Arena next year on 20-21 June 2025. To book your exhibitor stand, email Ann Craib at

Connect wins 12-month contract with Data-Driven Innovation initiative

A robot appears in a blue circle to the left of this image. To the right of the robot are the connect and DDI logos.

It is always exciting to win a new contract, but the Connect team is particularly pleased that our latest success is thanks to a unanimous vote.

The Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative team scored us highest in three independent evaluations, praising our editorial approach in particular.

Following an in-depth tender process, we were chosen by the Edinburgh-based DDI to deliver a number of campaigns and develop a range of communications assets..

Our content-based approach, ideas and strong and successful track record impressed the judging panel. 

Over the next 12 months we will support DDI to raise awareness of the initiative’s positive impact and success stories. This will include the production of DDI’s detailed Annual Report, which will showcase 20 case studies from its innovation hubs. 

We will also run a comprehensive and strategic social media campaign about the groundbreaking projects under way.

The DDI’s various teams are focused on finding answers to some of the world’s most pressing problems – from food production to the climate emergency. 

The £660 million initiative’s research and development is all taking place right here in Scotland, in Edinburgh’s university district. This includes at the state-of-the-art glass and chrome Bayes Centre on Potterrow and at the former Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place, which will soon reopen as the Edinburgh Futures Institute following an extensive refurbishment. 

DDI is also home to the world’s largest supercomputer, housed at the Edinburgh International Data Facility.  

We have had the pleasure of working with the DDI previously, including to produce the 2022 Annual Review. 

Our Managing Director Alan Ramsay said: “It’s always brilliant to welcome a client back, particularly when we hear we scored the highest on all the independent evaluations of the tenders.

“It’s a really exciting initiative delivering real impact to Edinburgh and South East Scotland, so we’re looking forward to telling their stories to a wide variety of stakeholders in many different formats.”

If you would like to discuss our work and how we can help you achieve your communication and/or publishing goals, please reach out to our team on +44(0) 141 561 0300 or email us at

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. 

Celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week with SELECT

A video for Aprenticeship week theat we created for SCETT and SELECT.

This week marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week (4-8 March) and what better way to start it than by spotlighting a client who is dedicated to supporting the talent of tomorrow? 

We’ve worked with the electrical trade body SELECT for many years, keeping their members engaged and informed through cabletalk magazine, as well as a range of eye-catching videos, infographics and information booklets. 

We were delighted to support SELECT in bringing their vision for a podcast about apprentices to life. Sparks’ Remarks, a series of episodes for electrical apprentices, by electrical apprentices, aims to increase SELECT’s reach to attract new talent to the electrical industry and highlight the benefits of an electrical apprenticeship to companies, parents and teachers.

And their commitment to investing in young people doesn’t stop there. This year, SELECT has again joined forces with SECTT, SJIB and Unite the Union to reaffirm its support of Scottish Apprenticeship Week. We created a new social media animation for them that highlights their incredible achievements in supporting apprenticeships over the past 30 years. This includes training 20,000+ apprentices and adult trainees and securing 1,061 employer partnerships!

Short animations, otherwise known as stings, are a great way to keep your audience informed and engaged in a creative, eye-catching way. When scrolling on social media, a short animation can be far more effective in capturing your desired viewers than a static graphic, since videos are set to play automatically on each platform. Videos tell a story that a graphic can’t quite capture, and their constant movement is far more likely to catch a viewer’s attention and keep them watching. Highlighting all SELECT’s achievements and milestones in this manner then was a no-brainer, and far more likely to make an impression on their target audience.

Iain Mason, Director of Membership & Communication at SELECT, said: “Connect has helped us produce an engaging range of collateral for Scottish Apprenticeship Week for a number of years, and for the 2024 event they produced another vibrant video sting to help spread our message across social media. The video delivered a wealth of facts and figures clearly and concisely, helping to reinforce the importance of electrical training and skills to the ongoing electrification of society. The music received plenty of positive comments too! And as always, the Connect team was really responsive and the work was done to a very high standard.”

The Power Of Social Media Engagement

Do you have a strong membership community, but are unsure how to keep your current audience engaged while attracting new members? 

We’ve worked with the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM), a UK-based professional membership organisation with a global footprint, since 2019. Their aim since then has been to further grow IIRSM’s engagement with its community while attracting new members.

Since February 2023, we have worked with IIRSM to ensure they achieve this with their social media platforms. LinkedIn, the organisation’s primary communication channel, has gained 5,000 new followers over the past year. Now sitting at more than 35,000 followers, that success is set to continue, with an estimated 300-500 followers gained every week, and page views and impressions increasing in double-figures. 

How was this achieved?

Social media is constantly evolving, so it’s important you keep up to date with the latest trends, audience feedback and analytics reporting to ensure your campaigns are as successful as they can be. 

For IIRSM, we performed a complete overhaul of their social channels, taking stock of what was working and what could be improved to keep their audience engaged and informed about the Institute’s important work and events. Incorporating a mixture of static graphics and video posts to their channels ensured the feed was eye-catching and fluid, and reducing their post frequency for a ‘quality over quantity’ approach proved successful for followers. 

Our challenge was to keep key membership messages and regular training and events interesting. Our design team achieved this with eye-catching visuals for IIRSM’s core priorities – including training courses, events, testimonials and professional development webinars. 

One such campaign involved using testimonials and course summaries to compare two IIRSM training courses, so potential attendees would know which was best for them and their professional development. For another, we used a Google search concept, and enhanced IIRSM’s list of membership benefits to produce an appealing FAQ video.

With a new Co-President, the annual Risk Excellence Awards, and a new podcast series, there is always plenty of activity at IIRSM and we work with the team to make each project engaging.  

Take your social media to the next level. Chat to our team today at +44(0) 141 561 0300 or email

Sparks’ Remarks on National Apprenticeship Week

This week marks National Apprenticeship Week – and what better way to celebrate it than listening to Sparks’ Remarks, the new podcast all about the lives of electrical apprentices from SELECT.

We’ve worked with SELECT for a number of years on a variety of projects, including their award-winning magazine cabletalk. That’s why we were delighted to help them with their latest communication venture, a podcast for budding electricians, by budding electricians, explaining the realities of the trade by talking with apprentices, lecturers and employers. 

SELECT had three main aims in launching its podcast – to honestly portray the realities of life as an electrical apprentice, to encourage more people to consider it as a career path, and to show companies, parents and teachers the benefits of apprenticeships. 

We helped the SELECT team with its entire podcast journey, from the initial concept and design, to interviewing, producing, co-hosting and editing the podcast. 

Since we were working with young apprentices, we wanted to ensure they felt at ease as we recorded. We travelled on site to record in person, which not only gave us great sound effects but also allowed the apprentices to be more relaxed than if they were brought into a studio. We recorded using small lapel mics, which again made sure the apprentices were relaxed, and helped to structure the conversation so that each took it in turn to answer a question. It meant they had time to consider their answers and could joke together, which came across well in the finished edit as, after all, a podcast is a conversation!

Iain Mason, Director of Membership & Communications at SELECT, said: “With the transition to net zero and reliance on renewables technology such as solar panels, electric vehicles and battery storage, it is vital that Scotland recruits more apprentice electricians in the coming years. To do this, we want to promote the benefits of being an electrician, but also paint a realistic picture of what young learners can expect when they take their first steps on the career ladder. 

“The podcast has played a key role in this strategy, and has helped us successfully extend our reach and promote the Modern Apprenticeship to an even wider audience, targeting a specific demographic in a way we were not able to do before. Record numbers of apprentices have been recruited in Scotland for the past three years, with full classrooms across the country. The podcast is a key tool in helping to make it happen and we want to continue giving a voice to the electricians of tomorrow.”

The Sparks’ Remarks podcast is now available on all major streaming platforms, with three episodes released and five more in the works. You can listen to it here

If you think your business would benefit from starting a podcast, contact us! We will support you from the beginning to end of your podcast journey. But don’t just take our word for it, have a look through our podcast portfolio here.
Interested? Chat to our friendly team today at +44(0) 141 561 0300 or by emailing

Solving Your Communications Puzzle Together

Puzzling over how to reach your target audience? We’re your missing piece!

Communications is an industry that is constantly evolving and we’ve been helping our clients reach their target audiences in new, ever more creative ways for more than 25 years. We’ve worked on everything from printed materials, podcasts, advertising, websites, social media and more. And now, we’ve added puzzles and board games to our roster!

We’re always game for a challenge, so when the Forces Children Scotland team said they wanted to produce a board game, we were more than happy to help. We work with Forces Children Scotland on everything from annual reports to bespoke, specialised projects. 

The result of our most recent project was an innovative, game-changing teaching tool that helps young people from Armed Forces families to educate their peers about what their lives are like. 

We helped bring the team’s initial idea to life, designing and producing the board, playing cards, playing pieces and instructions. 

The game was unveiled at a showcase event held at the Scottish Parliament, with more than 75 attendees, including MSPs, educators and professionals. We also designed and produced a number of assets for the launch events. 

We were also happy to piece together the production of a jigsaw puzzle. The Forces Children team sent us drawings by young people they work with, which our designers used as inspiration to create a design for the 24-piece puzzle. 

Don’t sit and puzzle over your next communications move. Let’s think outside the (game) box together. Chat to our team today at +44(0) 141 561 0300 or email

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!