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Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 May 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 May 2019

As another busy week draws to a close, a rare chink in the SNP armour appeared as Joanna Cherry, a senior SNP MP has hit out at party “infighting” after claims of “back-stabbing” and “politically motivated smears”. 

The current row stems from complaints from several former members of staff. One former caseworker complained of bullying by the Edinburgh South West MP and her office manager. Another former employee said that “almost all her staff” had written letters of complaint to Commons authorities over their treatment.

Ms Cherry, of course, rejects these accusations, describing them as “lies” and “spurious”, saying that “I am not and never have been a bully”.

Ruth Davidson has returned from maternity leave and has urged Scots to “move on” from constitutional debates as she launched the Scottish Conservative campaign for the European elections. The Tories had hoped to avoid going to the polls on 23 May but have conceded they will take place with the Brexit deadlock at Westminster still unbroken. The party has not produced a manifesto but held a campaign launch event at a distillery near Stirling.   Current polls suggest they may struggle to retain their one Scottish seat.

Theresa May has promised to set a timetable for the election of her successor after the next Brexit vote in the first week of June. The agreement follows a meeting between the Prime Minister and senior Tory MPs who are demanding a date for her departure from Downing Street. In other Westminster news, Boris Johnson is the only MP who has said he will run for leader once Mrs May resigns. Dominic Raab and Michael Gove are emerging as favourites.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are going head-to-head to try to become the UK’s first “net zero” city. Both cities have now unveiled ambitious plans to cut greenhouse emissions to a neutral level. Glasgow wants to reach the target “well before” 2045, while Edinburgh has set its target to 2030. Both bids exceed the Scotland-wide 2045 ambition announced by the Scottish government earlier this month.

Perceptive client Wavegarden Scotland hosted neighbouring MP Hannah Bardell (SNP) and MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton (LD) on a site tour and progress update.   Both are keen surfers and have been promised early ‘test’ opportunities when the site is up and running.

And finally… good luck to all the finalists in the Homes for Scotland Awards today.  Client Mactaggart & Mickel has been shortlisted for Medium Private Development of the Year and for Company Innovation and Best Practice as a result of its pioneering Employer of Choice initiative.  Perceptive is also finalist in the Best Supporting Organisation category.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Digital & Social Media Manager

Digital & Social Media Manager

Permanent, full time Digital & Social Media Manager

Do you thrive on driving results online? Are you on top of the latest social media trends?

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, motivated and experienced digital and social media manager to join our growing and multi-award winning team.

This role would ideally suit someone with digital and social media expertise, skills and experience. Our ideal person would also have experience of and a desire to be actively involved in driving client results through effective digital and social media campaigns.  An ability to deliver results in a fast paced environment with a can-do attitude is key.

Our shared values are focusing on results, being straightforward, trustworthy, caring for clients and colleagues with a great energy and attention to detail.

The role
As a Digital & Social Media Manager you will be responsible for the delivery of several client campaigns from the development of the digital and social media strategy to implementation for our clients in construction, health, biotechnology and technology.  Your activities will include:

  • Working with the Perceptive team to develop and implement successful communications strategies for our clients that deliver results
  • Developing and implementing organic and paid for multi-channel campaigns that have delivered proven results including across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram
  • Developing and executing a full digital marketing strategy and developing, implementing, tracking and optimizing SEO focused digital marketing campaigns across all digital channels
  • Identifying, generating and delivering compelling content & materials to engage target audiences and drive desired results
  • Tracking current news, trends and memes  to identify content source streams
  • Creating and designing images/graphics and video content for marketing campaigns
  • Planning, scheduling and overseeing social media activity to drive desired results
  • Connecting with social media influencers to build productive relationships
  • Coaching others on the effective use of social media
  • Using website analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics, Facebook insights, LinkedIn Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Mention) to monitor, report and make recommendations
  • Presenting and explaining detailed social reporting to clients
  • Setting up and optimising Google AdWords’ campaigns
  • Identifying potential new business opportunities
  • Attending networking events on behalf of Perceptive Communicators, including external and internal events e.g. Perceptive Communicators and Perceptive Directors Clubs
  • Contributing to new business activities e.g. tenders

Essential skills

  • At least 3 years’ digital and social media experience
  • Proven track record of implementing successful digital and social media campaigns across main social media channels
  • Expertise in using content management systems to deliver and update websites effectively and efficiently
  • Experience of using tools like InDesign and Canvas
  • Proven track record of developing and delivering high quality effective written, image and video content for online and social media channels that deliver desired results
  • An ability to deliver agreed goals and work to tight deadlines to ensure clients’ targets and expectations are met
  • Good project management and time management skills
  • Strong writing and creative skills, so able to create compelling content from complex information
  • Proactive and proven ability to thrive in a fast paced environment
  • Organised work processes and project management with ability to prioritise tasks and manage time effectively
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Flexible can do attitude and a willingness to learn
  • Ability to work on own and as part of a team
  • Driving licence and access to a car for work

Our values are:

  • Focussed on results
  • Trusted experts
  • Straightforward and reliable
  • Great energy and team spirit which extends to our clients

If you think you fit the bill, do get in touch.

Work experience
Candidates will at have least three years’ work experience in a digital and social media communications role.  Experience of working in an agency and delivering successful results on behalf of clients is desired but not essential. 

Why join us?

Perceptive Communicators is a multi-award winning communications consultancy, established in 2006 and on a very strong growth path which benefits all employees. We work on exciting projects in construction, health, biotechnology and technology which help our clients achieve their goals.

We offer flexible working hours and up to two days a week working from home. Our team enjoy excellent holidays and benefits, including private healthcare, discounted flights and hotels, free Amazon Prime, Starbucks coffees and cinema tickets.

In addition to 33 days’ holiday, we give all of our employees an extra day’s holiday to have their birthday off.  We also encourage our employees to give back through the company donating a day of their time to our jointly agreed charities.  This year we have supported Action for Children and the Simon Community. 

Our core values are focus on results, straightforward, trustworthy, care and being reliable with a great energy and team spirit for colleagues and clients. If you fancy being a key lynchpin and working with this fast-paced team, please get in touch.

Please apply by sharing your CV, current salary, salary expectations and notice period. 

To apply
If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and covering letter to info@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk detailing why you would be good for this role, with details of your current salary and salary expectations.

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 10 May 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 10 May 2019

In Holyrood this week, Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced more detailed plans on their proposed Deposit Return Scheme. The Deposit Return Scheme will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change. 

The scheme is based on what Ms Cunningham termed successful international equivalents and will be widely accessible, with all shops which sell drinks offering deposit refunds to customers. The Deposit Return Scheme Implementation Advisory Group is providing industry input and guidance on the scheme’s interaction with consumers, producers, retailers and the hospitality industry, which will be key to its success. More details can be found here:https://news.gov.scot/news/deposit-return-scheme

At Westminster, further pressure is being piled onto the PM and her position, Theresa May met Sir Graham Brady this week, amid calls for her to set a firm resignation date. No 10 insisted the meeting was routine, but pressure is mounting on the PM, with local Tory associations confirming they will hold a vote of confidence in her leadership on 15 June.

The Scottish government is likely to postpone plans for its budget to be assigned a share of VAT revenues, the finance secretary has indicated. Half of the VAT receipts raised in Scotland had been due to be assigned to the Scottish government’s budget from next year.

However, it has been difficult to calculate what the figure should be. Derek Mackay said there was a danger this could short-change his budget by millions of pounds.

Scrapping the current benefits system and replacing it with a basic income could eradicate destitution, according to a new report. The report supporting the idea of a universal basic income has been compiled by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). The RSA charity wants to see every adult in Scotland given a basic annual income of £2,400, rising to £4,800. Children would be paid £1,500.

The Scottish government supports proposed trials of the system by councils in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and North Ayrshire.

And finally… Wavegarden Scotland, a client of Perceptive, held a public consultation at Ratho Library on Wednesday of this week. The purpose of the consultation was to update residents on the accommodation design proposals at what will be Scotland’s first artificial surf pack, located at the old Craigpark Quarry in Ratho. Over 150 residents engaged with the Wavegarden Scotland team. Feedback was very encouraging towards Scotland’s first purpose-built surfing lake and newest leisure destination.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 3 May 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 3 May 2019

Nicola Sturgeon has hit back at Theresa May after the Prime Minister said that the SNP had to “get on with the day job” during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. Addressing the House of Commons, the PM said: “Under the SNP and government in Scotland, what we are seeing is public services getting worse because the SNP are focussing on holding another independence referendum.”

The First Minister accused Theresa May of a “complete lack of self-awareness” and said it was the Tory leader who was struggling to get on with her administration’s duties.

The Scottish Government announced this week that they will legislate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045 after receiving fresh advice from an expert panel.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) urged that Scotland set the target five years ahead of the UK as a whole. The panel says Scotland has more potential sites for carbon capture and a greater landmass for tree planting. It came after a report to the UN last year urged the world to go “further and faster” in tackling climate change. And on Sunday last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a “climate emergency” in her speech to the SNP party conference.

The Scottish Greens will launch their manifesto for the upcoming European elections next week (Tues 7th May) in Glasgow. The launch will take place at West Brewery, Glasgow Green, which was set up by German national Petra Wetzel, and brews under German purity laws. Media will be invited to ask questions of lead candidate Maggie Chapman and party co-convenor, Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie.

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has  called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action in the face of the climate emergency. Last year climate scientists warned that we have just a decade to deliver the change needed to avoid a climate catastrophe, and today new guidance was issued to the Scottish Government by the Committee on Climate Change, its statutory advisor.  Ms Johnstone asked the First Minister what action the Scottish Government plan to take in the next year given the urgent nature of the emergency.

And finally SNP MP Pete Wishart has announced his candidacy to replace John Bercow as the Speaker of the House of Commons. There is speculation Mr Bercow will announce his retirement this summer, although he has not yet confirmed this. Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh and Labour’s Chris Bryant have both voiced an interest in the job. Mr Wishart wrote on Twitter that he would release a manifesto on Wednesday to become “the first post-war Speaker from beyond the two main parties”

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 26 April 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 26 April 2019

Scottish politics returns to the top of the agenda after the Easter recess that nearly wasn’t as the First Minister made an emergency statement to Holyrood on what she terms Scotland’s constitutional future. In the end, news that she wants a second referendum on Scottish independence by 2021 if the country is taken out of the EU was no great surprise, but there is a determination in the SNP that hasn’t been seen since the giddy days of 2014.

Downing Street has re-iterated that it said previously that it will not grant a new Section 30 order, which made the 2014 referendum legal, however Ms Sturgeon said this position was “unsustainable” and challenged her party to increase support and demand for independence.

Before the Easter break, Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee launched an inquiry into Scotland’s empty homes and how these can be brought back into use. They will examine the scale of the issue, the effectiveness of current legislation and what more can be done to prevent properties remaining empty for extended periods of time. The remit of the inquiry is as follows:

·       The extent of, and reasons for, empty homes in Scotland;

·       How effective existing legislation and policy is at addressing the problem of empty homes;

·       What more can be done to prevent homes remaining empty and to encourage owners to bring them back into use.

2019 marks 20 years since devolution and, in a speech hosted by Reform Scotland, former Labour First Minister Lord (Jack) McConnell reflected on the anniversary including his time as First Minister. Applying three tests to whether devolution had been successful, he assessed that the quality of legislation and the ability of both Parliament and Government to “speak for Scotland” had been overwhelmingly positive. On the third test, Parliament’s record in holding the Executive to account, he was less positive, suggesting several improvements including elected committee conveners, a time-limit on list MSPs and further changes at a UK level. 

On Wednesday, entrepreneurial icons flocked to Scotland as the second edition of CAN DO Fest, Scotland’s festival of impactful entrepreneurship, kicked off with EIE 2019 – one of the UK’s leading events for tech entrepreneurs and investors. Almost 4,500 entrepreneurial leaders, change makers and innovators are expected to attend the new-look festival to help them spark ideas, collaborate and grow. 

And finally… Perceptive client Scotframe, part of the global Saint-Gobain group, hosted Housing, Planning and Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart MSP on Wednesday as he formally opened their new Dundee office and showroom. The visit was organised by Perceptive and, staying longer than expected, the Minister had an extended discussion with senior management. As he left, he said he found their approach to timber frame construction ‘most enlightening.’

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk     

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 12 April 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 12 April 2019

Trick or treat? It has the potential to be both and you couldn’t quite make it up! A dream for the headline writers of this world, the new 31 October Halloween deadline (also our political guru Devin’s birthday but we’re saying nothing….) was announced this week and the prime minister’s acceptance that leaving the EU without a formal arrangement in place could be a disaster won out.

European Union leaders granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit, after late-night talks in Brussels on Wednesday. European Council President Donald Tusk said his “message to British friends” was “please do not waste this time”. This message was replicated by Nicola Sturgeon who also said the UK must not waste time now a flexible extension to Brexit has been agreed until 31 October. In a tweet, Ms Sturgeon said it was “a relief” that the UK would not be “crashing out” of the EU on Friday. She added that allowing people to decide if they still wanted to leave was now imperative, and that Scotland’s interests must be protected.

The First Minister said it is essential now that this time is used constructively and not wasted, and she has called for ongoing talks over EU exit to include the devolved administrations, and for any deal agreed by the UK Parliament to be put to a second referendum. She has copied the letter to the First Minister of Wales. Details: https://news.gov.scot/news/letter-to-the-prime-minister-1

Holyrood, on Easter recess this week, will not be recalled now that the extension has been agreed.

Also, at Holyrood this week it was announced that the Scottish Parliament is calling for public feedback on business rates reforms which could see independent schools lose their charitable status. The proposals, many of which are based on the recommendations of the Barclay Review, include reducing the current five-year valuation cycle to three years and measures aimed at improving the administration of the system. Ministers also want to tackle known tax avoidance, including tactics involving unoccupied or under-used properties.

And finally…As well as supporting the homeless charity, Social Bite in Scotland, this week Homes for Scotland has led a team with charity, Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for vulnerable people in Homa Bay, Kenya. 

The dedicated team of volunteers spans the housebuilding sector, including employees of Cruden, Buccleuch Property, Mactaggart & Mickel and Homes for Scotland.  Homes for Scotland Chief Executive Nicola Barclay, who is on the build this week says: “Regardless of where in the world you live, the right to a home is one of life’s most basic needs, and I look forward to making a real difference to someone’s life.”

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.mousdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 5 April 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 5 April 2019

Talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to break the Brexit deadlock have been called “constructive”. Take that with a very large print of salt!

The two leaders met on Wednesday afternoon and agreed a “programme of work” to try to find a way forward to put to MPs for a vote.It is understood that each party has appointed a negotiating teamA spokesman for No 10 said both sides were “showing flexibility”.On Thursday MPs voted by a majority of one to force the prime minister to ask for an extension to the Brexit process, in a bid to avoid a no-deal scenario.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned against accepting a “bad compromise” after holding Brexit talks with Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Sturgeon was in London this week along with other political leaders in a bid to break the logjam over the UK’s exit from the EU.

At Holyrood, the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee met with client, Construction Scotland as part of the final phase of evidence gathering for their Construction inquiry. Construction Scotland Chair Ken Gillespie, Executive Director Ron Fraser and Industry Leadership Group Member, Ann Allen MBE gave evidence in a lengthy solo session in which MSPs participated enthusiastically.

On Wednesday in Holyrood, MSPs unanimously backed the general principles of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill. The Scottish Government confirmed it will make amendments to the bill after fresh independent advice on targets has been published. A coalition of charities has called on Scottish ministers to strengthen the bill by setting a net-zero emissions target in the legislation. New advice from the Committee on Climate Change is due on 2 May.

In the business world, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has appointed Sara Thiam, a member of the Scottish Government’s newly-formed Infrastructure Commission, as its new chief executive.  Ms Thiam, who is currently the Scotland director of the Institution of Civil Engineers, is expected to focus the think tank around skills, technology and tackling climate change.  Ms Thiam said: “In common with other countries around the world Scotland faces unprecedented environmental, demographic, mobility, educational and technological challenges.”

Next week is meant to be the start of the two week Easter recess but at the time of writing, it looks likely thatHolyrood will meet if the UK is forced out of the European Union with no deal in place, MSPs have been told. Relations Secretary Michael Russell MSP said a no-deal Brexit would be a “moment of crisis” and MSPs would need to be made aware of the arrangements that would be put in place. 

And finally, the judging and interviews for the prestigious Homes for Scotland awards took place this week.  Perceptive is shortlisted in the Best Supporting Organisation category. Perceptive client, Mactaggart & Mickel is also shorlisted for Private Developer of the Year (Medium) for its development at Greenan Views, Ayr and in the Company Innovation and Best Practice category for its game changing Employer of Choice programme.  

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale 

on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 29 March 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 29 March 2019

Well today should have been a landmark date in recent political history as we left the EU after 46 years of often fractious membership.  But of course even that didn’t go to plan, although we are a tad closer to getting a new Prime Minister.

The Brexit process remains in deadlock as MPs struggle to find a consensus on the next steps. The Commons failed to find a majority for a way forward after voting for eight different options on Wednesday. They couldn’t even agree on what system to use to vote as an archaic paper system was proposed by Mr Speaker, much to the confusion of just about every MP apart from Jacob Rees-Mogg. And while some senior Brexiteers have moved towards supporting Theresa May’s deal, the DUP MPs she relies on for her wafer thin majority have refused to alter their stance.

The PM won some support by saying she would resign ahead of the next round of EU negotiations if her deal passes. This means she still may bring her plan back to the Commons this week for another vote – the so-called “meaningful vote three” – despite it already being defeated twice by large margins.

The Prime Minister’s pledge to stand down if her Brexit deal is approved risks making “an already bad project even worse”, Scotland’s First Minister has claimed.  PM Boris is looking scarily likely….

Nicola Sturgeon said it could see Scotland “shackled to a disastrous Brexit driven by a Tory party lurching even further to the right”. She predicted that this would “further reinforce” the case for independence.

But true to form, Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray criticised the SNP for abstaining during a vote on whether there should be a customs union with the EU. The proposal would have passed if SNP MPs had voted for it. Mr Murray said: “Nationalist MPs sat on their hands rather than deliver a parliamentary majority for a minimum of a permanent customs union to be written into law to protect the British economy and jobs – making a mockery of Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge to support a ‘common sense solution’.”

Whilst the action was unfolding at Westminster on Wednesday evening, attendees at the first Perceptive Directors’ Club of the year were treated to what has become an annual tour of Holyrood from MSP Tavish Scott, the former leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and a Cabinet Minister prior to 2007. Our clients got an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Parliament building and afterwards sat down for dinner and a fascinating Q&A with Tavish, no subject was off the table, including Brexit!  This article reflects many of the Brexit points raised in our discussion.  As public affairs is an increasing part of Perceptive’s client workload, we hope to repeat the tour and any Insider readers interested should simply reply to this email.

We were pleased to welcome Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar, to client, Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).  Chief Executive Roger Kilburn hosted the visit, sharing an overview of IBioIC which aims to stimulate growth across health, industrial, marine and agriculture biotechnology to £900m by 2025.


Next week the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee meets with client, Construction Scotland as part of the final phase of evidence gathering for the Construction Inquiry.  Ken Gillespie, Chair, Ann Allen MBE and Member and Ron Fraser, Executive Director of Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group will provide evidence on behalf of Construction Scotland.  

One of the SNP’s most unpopular budget proposals, a new workplace parking tax, has been attacked again as the Scottish Police Federation are saying it could expose police officers to a greater risk of terrorism. The Federation said if officers stopped driving to work it could endanger them as they made their way to and from shifts on foot or public transport. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP, who was given the warning at the SPF conference in Turnberry on Thursday, said he would look at a police exemption from the levy.

And finally… in what why may be his last speech to the European Parliament, SNP MEP Alyn Smith was holding back tears of emotion as he said: “cheers colleagues, I’m not asking you to solve our domestic discussions. But I am asking you to leave a light on so we can find our way home (to the EU).”

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 22 March 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 22 March 2019

The UK is likely to be offered to delay Brexit until 12 May, subject to MPs approving the withdrawal deal negotiated with the EU next week.  If not the EU will back a shorter delay until 12 April, giving the UK time to get the deal through or “indicate a way forward”.

In the meantime an online petition calling for Theresa May to revoke Article 50 has attracted over 2 million signatures. Revoke Article 50 has been trending on Twitter as people were urged to sign it. According to the Petitions Committee, the site struggled to cope with the demand, crashing at some points.  Once up and running again signatures were arriving at a rate of up to 2000 per minute.   

In Scottish politics, the government has pledged to roll back changes MSPs made to its reforms of the planning system. Ministers introduced legislation at Holyrood with the aim of streamlining planning and “empowering communities” but the process has not been as seamless as the Scottish Government had anticipated.

MSPs on the local government committee have made more than 230 amendments to the bill adding in extra powers and responsibilities for planning boards. The government has warned these could “create millions of pounds of new costs” and undermine the legislation.Local Government and Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said he was now working on fresh changes to “rescue” the bill and “remove unnecessary burdens” before MSPs vote on it for the final time,

There was a little good news for the Scottish economy as new figures showed that it grew by 0.3% in the final three months of 2018, according to official figures. The increase in the country’s GDP compared to a figure of 0.2% for the UK. The news comes as Scotland’s unemployment rate hit a record low. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP said it was the eighth consecutive quarter of growth and that the country’s economy “continues to go from strength to strength”.

Mental health is back on the agenda with an independent review of Scotland’s mental health legislation is to be carried out, mental health care in Scotland is currently underpinned by laws which date back to 2003, and MSPs have faced calls for an update.Linked to this and as mentioned last week, a petition had been lodged at Holyrood urging ministers to “conduct a wide review” of legislation, in light of developments both in care and treatment and international human rights law. Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP told MSPs that “the time is right” to review the law, to make sure that rules “fully reflect our ambitions and the needs of those our laws are intended to support”.

In a rather worrying development, a leading MSP has told how she fears for her safety after online threats and abuse. Glasgow Conservative Annie Wells said she has contacted Police Scotland over the social media posts. She told media representatives that in the three years since she was elected she had muted more than 1100 abusive Twitter accounts due to the violent and foul nature of the posts. Ms Wells said the majority ofthe abuse on Twitter was aimed at her simply for a being a woman. Sadly her experience is by no means unique.

And finally… One of Perceptive’s newest clients, the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) in Glasgow, welcomes senior Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar this morning.  A former dentist and MP, Mr Sarwar has considerable interest in IBioIC’s role, as a specialist in the Industrial Biotechnology (IB) sector, is to stimulate the growth of the IB sector in Scotland to £900 million by 2025. IBioIC is one of eight Innovation Centres funded by the Scottish Funding Council and supported by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Mousdale on 07734 932578 or julie.mousdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Account Director

Account Director

Do you thrive on leading and working with a team to deliver great communications results that make a big difference? Are you keen to work with amazing clients and an exclusively expert team in a great working environment?

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, motivated and experienced communicator to join our growing and multi-award winning team based in our lovely office in Glasgow city centre.

Our ideal person would be a strong project manager with a proven track record of helping achieve business and organisational goals through effective PR and social media campaigns.  An ability to deliver results in a fast paced environment with a can-do attitude is key.

Key responsibilities

  • Developing, leading and implementing proactive PR and social media strategies for clients to help them achieve their organisational goals
  • Leading and working with a team to deliver key activities and KPIs that have been agreed with client within agreed timescales, demonstrating effective project management where there are often competing priorities in a fast moving environment
  • Lead role in building and maintaining positive relationships with clients and influencers which results in strong client retention levels and referrals
  • Developing positive relationships with key stakeholders and influencers  
  • Writing and editing publications, brochures, news releases, opinion pieces, award submissions, speeches, newsletters, websites and social media within agreed timescales to a high standard
  • Being a strong positive ambassador for Perceptive amongst clients, potential clients, influencers and stakeholders in person and online eg social media eg LinkedIn
  • Identifying appropriate contacts and then developing and maintaining good working relationships with the media, key stakeholders eg community leaders and clients
  • Contributing to the direction of Perceptive Communicators’ strategy and attending six monthly meetings to deliver the vision for the company
  • Identifying potential new business opportunities with existing and new clients
  • Contributing to new business activities eg tenders
  • Developing and managing PR & Social Media managers and other relevant team members

Living Perceptive values

  • Focussed on results
  • Trusted experts, so reassurance for clients
  • Straightforward
  • Great energy and proactive with positive team spirit that extends to client teams
  • We care

Essential skills

  • Proven track record of leading a team in successful PR and social media campaigns to deliver desired results
  • An ability to deliver agreed goals and work to tight deadlines to ensure clients’ targets and expectations are met
  • Good project management and time management skills
  • Strong writing and creative skills, so able to create compelling content from complex information
  • Proactive and proven ability to thrive in a fast paced environment
  • Organised work processes and project management with ability to prioritise tasks and manage time effectively
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Flexible can do attitude and a willingness to learn
  • Ability to work on own and as part of a team
  • Driving licence and access to a car for work

    If you think you fit the bill, do get in touch.

Work experience
Candidates will at have least ten years’ communications work experience in PR and social media.  Experience of working in an agency and delivering successful results on behalf of clients is desired but not essential. 

Why join us?

Perceptive Communicators is a multi-award winning communications consultancy, established in 2006 and on a very strong growth path which benefits all employees. We work on exciting projects in construction, health, biotechnology and technology which help our clients achieve their goals.

We offer flexible working hours and up to two days a week working from home. Our team enjoy excellent holidays and benefits, including private healthcare, discounted flights and hotels, free Amazon Prime, Starbucks coffees and cinema tickets.

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 15 March 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 15 March 2019

Just like buses… you wait for one and three come along at once, Theresa May will make a third attempt, with a third vote put to MPs, to get her EU withdrawal deal through Parliament in the next week. She told MPs that if her deal fails again to get their backing, a lengthy delay to Brexit may be needed.

No date has yet been set for the third so-called “meaningful vote” but the Commons voted by a whisker – just two votes – last night to allow her to maintain control of Brexit.  For now.

European Council President Donald Tusk has said he will appeal to EU leaders “to be open to a long extension” of the Brexit deadline, his intervention came this week as MPs voted on Thursday to try and seek to postpone the 29 March deadline to 30 June. EU leaders will meet in Brussels on 21 March where they will have the final say on the matter.

Nicola Sturgeon commented this week that the Brexit deadline should be put back long enough for a new referendum. The First Minister said the failure of the Commons to agree on a deal meant the issue should now be put back to the public in a fresh referendum.

Back to Holyrood, and MSPs have called for research to be carried out on the impact of social media on young people’s mental health. Holyrood’s public audit committee has been studying a “significant increase” in the number of children and teens experiencing mental health problems. Members wanted to find out if social media use could be a factor in rising demand for services but were told that this was “not yet understood”.

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee’s major inquiry into the Construction industry is continuing and this week we were pleased to support client CSIC (Construction Scotland Innovation Centre).  Chief Executive Stephen Good was questioned for an hour by MSPs on how innovation is transforming this vital industry which contributes £21bn every year to Scotland’s economy. Client Construction Scotland will also give evidence on 2 April.

A must visit for anyone interested in the construction industry is Scotland Build 2019 which starts next week (20 – 21 March at the SEC Glasgow). Now in its fourth year, the conference is Scotland’s leading and largest construction show dedicated entirely to opportunities in building, construction, architecture and design across Scotland. Three members of Perceptive’s team will be leading workshops on political influence, LinkedIn and crisis communications at the Skills Hub on the Wednesday – tickets are free and there’s still time to register to come along: https://oliverkinross.circdata-solutions.co.uk/RFG/publish/SBUILD19/

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 8 March 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 8 March 2019

Another week goes by and we are still none the wiser on the UK’s Brexit position. EU officials have urged the UK to submit fresh proposals within the next 48 hours to try and break the Brexit impasse. EU officials said they would work non-stop over the weekend if “acceptable” ideas were received today to break the deadlock over the Irish backstop.

The UK has said “reasonable” proposals to satisfy MPs’ concerns about being tied to EU rules had already been made… So, who knows, by Monday we might be closer to getting an outcome… or, and much more likely, we could be even further away from understanding how the UK will leave the European Union.

On Tuesday this week, Scottish and Welsh politicians joined forces in a bid to encourage the Prime Minister to change her position on Brexit. An identical motion was debated simultaneously by the Scottish Parliament and the Senedd, the Welsh Assembly, culminating with co-ordinated votes. Sponsors said that it underlined opposition to Theresa May’s deal, demand a delay to Brexit and call for “no deal” to be ruled out. The UK government maintain that the PM’s deal was a good one for Scotland and Wales. 

Away from Brexit and the person in charge of promoting the UK’s financial industry around the world has said there is great potential for Scottish firms to expand abroad. Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said he wanted Scots firms looking to expand and to join him on foreign trips to places like China to promote and push their business.

And closer to home, Project Heather – Scotland’s new stock market company – was formally launched in Edinburgh.  Perceptive attended and we maintain closeworking links with the venture’s research partners, former MPs Roger Mullin and Michelle Thomson. Bourse Scot, the company behind it, has revealed a partnership with European stock market operator Euronext. It is led by experienced broker and entrepreneur Tomás Carruthers and is in discussion with Scottish Enterprise to secure Regional Selective Assistance, with a view to creating around 60 jobs.

There was some bad news for Scottish Business this week as the best hope for bringing major contracts to Scotland for the building of multi-billion-pound offshore wind farms failed to win a vital order, according to unions. BiFab is believed to have lost out on an order for offshore platforms to yards in Belgium, Spain and the UAE. Unite and the GMB say the failure to place any of the order in Scotland is a “scandal”.

The first ever affordable housing development in the village of Killearn by Rural Stirling Housing Association was formally opened by Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford this week.  Built by long standing Perceptive client Mactaggart & Mickel, the properties benefit from a modern, efficient and sustainable air source heat pump heating system. In addition, the exacavated rock has been reused to build a dry stone dyke around the site boundary. 

Jamie McLean, head of contracts and timber systems at Mactaggart & Mickel said: “This is the first new development in Killearn delivering much-needed quality affordable housing and is our first partnership with Rural Stirling Housing Association.”

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 1 March 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 1 March 2019

As 29 March draws closer, another week of bewildering Brexit discussions has ended with Theresa May promising MPs a meaningful vote on her deal by 12 March. Meanwhile Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard MSP is insisting that the option of remaining in the EU must be on the ballot paper for any further Brexit referendum. And adding to the uncertainty, a report on the impact of a no-deal Brexit has just been published – the findings of which should come with a health warning!

As the words of Noel Edmonds – “deal or no-deal” – come to mind, Scotland’s home grown billionaire Sir Tom Hunter accuses politicians of letting down the country, saying voters were lied to by the ‘Leave’ campaign during the 2016 referendum, and he too joins calls for a second referendum to be held.

In other non-Brexit news this week, MSPs will debate legislation which allows for questions about gender identity to be included in the 2021 census, although in usual Government fashion, there has been much disagreement over what people should be asked. You can read the full report from the Culture committee here.  And in another potentially significant move, MSPs also agreed the general principles of the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill, which, if passed, will shift Scotland to a soft ‘opt-out’ for organ donation.

In client news, Fulton MacGregor, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, visited Kier Construction Scotland’s refurbished HQ in Stepps, to hear about the work they are carrying out across Scotland and NE England. Mr MacGregor said: “It was good to hear about the diverse range of projects that Kier is carrying out and their commitment to providing local jobs for local people to help boost the local economy.”

As deputy convener of the Children & Young People’s Cross Party Group in Holyrood, Mr MacGregor said he was equally keen to hear about the initiatives Kier have in place to inform young people about the construction industry, adding: “I was impressed by their ‘Shaping Your World’ initiative where they have pledged 1% of their workforce to engage with schools and colleges to highlight the vast career opportunities that exist within this dynamic industry.”

Yesterday it was announced that client Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) will receive almost £11 million of core funding to support the sector to innovate, modernise and grow. The investment from the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will allow CSIC to build on the foundations of a highly successful first five years and support its Phase 2 mission to mainstream innovation in construction, leading to improved productivity and growth within the sector.  It is expected that over the next five years, the funding will support the construction sector to deliver £998m of additional gross turnover, create 1,847 new jobs and retain 4,721 existing jobs.

And finally it is less than three weeks until Scotland Build an event dedicated  to opportunities in building, construction, architecture and design across Scotland. As the communications partner for the event, Perceptive running a range of free training sessions, including How construction companies can use political influence to achieve their goals, Protecting reputations and handling crises well in the risky business of construction and Top tips on how to use LinkedIn to build profile in construction.  You can find the full list of sessions and times here, but feel free to attend one of the free training events led by the Perceptive team.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932578 or julie.mclauchlan@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 22 February 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 22 February 2019

This time last week, they didn’t exist, now you can’t escape the newest (non) party in UK Politics.

The new The Independent Group (“The” is part of their name, lest we confuse with any others) currently made up of three pro-remain Conservative MPs and eight Labour MPs who have all resigned from their respected parties over the handling of Brexit and anti-Semitism within Labour – saying it represented “the centre ground of British politics”. So far, no Scottish MPs have joined them but we hear whispers about one or two MSPs who are unhappy with Comrade Corbyn…

Closer to home and SNP MSPs with Green support have voted to pass the final stage of the Scottish Government’s budget for the coming financial year – securing additional funds for the NHS while offering what the SNP term ‘economic stability in the face of Tory Brexit chaos.’ The budget has committed £729 million extra for health and care services, with spending on NHS frontline boards rising by £430 million.
 
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP also announced an £8 billion investment in Scotland’s education system and, as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to almost double the paid-for provision of childcare to 1,140 hours from August 2020 for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds, the budget also commits £500 million to support the expansion of early learning services and facilities across Scotland.

Still at Holyrood and SNP MSP Linda Fabiani has been chosen to chair the Holyrood committee inquiry into the government’s handling of complaints against Alex Salmond. Several inquiries were set up after the government admitted its investigation of internal complaints had been flawed. A special committee of nine MSPs set up to examine the government probe met for the first time on Wednesday. However, they will not begin their full inquiry until the criminal case brought against Mr Salmond has been concluded.

The Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee continues its inquiry into the construction industry but, meantime, has published its report on business support for SMEs and the Business Gateway programme. Members argued the programme suffered from a “lack of accountability” on delivering objectives and “limited transparency” on budgeting. The Committee felt Business Gateway should be set externally monitored targets. Members also said Business Gateway sites needed to improve their engagement with stakeholders. Convener, Tory MSP and advocate Gordon Lindhurst, said: “There is a lack of alignment, transparency and accountability in Business Gateway, and we found it unacceptable that local authorities do not consistently record and publish targets or financial information.”

On Monday, our client, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, welcomed several MSP members of the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee to their state of the art innovation factory in Hamilton. Midlothian MSP Colin Beattie tried a virtual reality headset and wondered if a VR Holyrood was coming anytime soon!

And on Wednesday, our client, Henry Boot Developments (HBD), hosted a media tour at the multi-million-pound TECA in Aberdeen. The venue is being delivered by Aberdeen City Council, HBD and Robertson and will open this summer, providing a new world-class facility close to Aberdeen International Airport and the new city bypass.  We were fortunate enough to join the tour and have a sneak peek inside the 12,500-capacity main arena, which will host conferences, exhibitions and music concerts, and is expected to attract major artists and events to the city, resulting in a hugely positive economic impact. 

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932578 or julie.mclauchlan@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 15 February 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 15 February 2019

Despite Holyrood being on recess for a week, it has been another fascinating seven days in Scottish and UK politics as we move ever closer to the 29March. In one of the more bizarre Brexit sub plots, ITV News reported this week that one of its correspondents overheard the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, saying in a Brussels bar that the EU was likely to allow an extension to the Brexit process.

On the back of this, the Prime Minister played down reports that she could force MPs to choose between backing her deal or accepting a delay to EU withdrawal. Providing a soundbite that perhaps sums up Brexit perfectly, Mrs May told the Commons that people should not rely on “what someone said to someone else, as overheard by someone else, in a bar”.

The Scottish Government has stepped up its preparations for a no-deal Brexit as it again called on Theresa May to rule out the possibility. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she still believes no deal can be avoided. However, she said her government had a duty to plan for the possibility as best it could. Speaking after a meeting of the Scottish cabinet in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon told BBC Scotland that Mrs May was attempting to “run down the clock” to try and “blackmail” MPs into backing her deal “at the very, very last minute”. The Scottish Government statement can be read here: Brexit

The Scottish Government’s Chief Economic Adviser has published a report on the state of the economy. The update focuses on the risks of a no deal Brexit, as well as Scotland’s strengths in terms of international trade. The report suggests that a no deal Brexit would lead to a “major dislocation” in the Scottish economy and “significant structural change” in the longer term.

It was announced this week that a Holyrood committee is to examine hospital safety following the deaths of two patients from an infection linked to pigeon droppings. The health committee inquiry comes in the wake of the deaths at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The patients died after contracting a fungal infection linked to the droppings.

The new TV channel, BBC Scotland, has revealed the first full line-up of the on-air team behind its flagship news programme. “The Nine” has a 15-strong core team of journalists, including four dedicated to Holyrood and Westminster, who will bring the national and international news to Scotland in the nightly hour-long broadcast. Broadcasting starts in April. Heading the team are presenters Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler and Chief News Correspondent James Cook joins the Nine from his post as BBC News North America Correspondent.

Another sensitive policy area for the coming spring session at Holyrood will be the SNP’s so called parking tax whereby businesses will pay a levy for ‘free’ workplace parking places. Environmental campaigners have written to Scotland’s five political party leaders expressing support for the levy. The letter sets out the key reasons the plans are backed by environmental and transport groups and aims to dispel myths around the Levy. The Conservatives have continued to oppose the measure. They claimed that teaching unions would demand car park tax refunds for their members. 

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932578 or julie.mclauchlan@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk

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