Use media outlets, documentaries and short films to highlight Parliament successes and real life stories of engagement to improve public perception and trust. We heard that the Scottish Parliament needs to do more to tell people about its engagement and participation work, as those it reaches are positive about the experience. Then it is a matter of finding the best marketing practices to reach as many people as possible. Use people who have had positive interaction and experience with Parliament to tell their story through national and local media (tv/radio/newspaper etc) and community groups. The public sometimes find it easier to digest information by way of another person telling them. Make sure people know about the teams of staff working on engagement as well as MSPs.
But it has to have cross party support, or it will be seen as propaganda, Mu unanimously or one dissenting vote. Must be confirmed by a cross party committee.
Beware social media, but TV, radio are important means of communication to the majority of people. People need to know what their Parliaments are doing, what they are considering and especially need to know why.
This is always such a tricky area to get right, in my experience, but so valuable and important to build trust and confidence in the process and value of meaningful engagement and participation. Suggest that there are ways the Parliament could ensure that the public can 'track' issues from start to finish e.g. a simple timeline tracker of where an issue is sitting within the parliament's processes?
In April this year, as a portion of the social security budget was devolved, the government stopped reassesment for many disabled people with a higher rate assesment. I have a daughter with a higher rate of assessment and neither I nor anyone I have discussed this with, knew about this (well, one). Stop communicating through "professional" channels and communicate directly with disabled people and their carers.
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