Interview: Gregor Urquhart

The communications director for Young Scot tells Annette Rawstrone how new and traditional media both have a role to play

Gregor Urquhart
Gregor Urquhart

- What do you enjoy about your work?

I like getting the opportunity to engage with a cross-section of young people from different backgrounds and to work on different projects. Every day is unpredictable, which keeps things fresh.

- What methods do you find best for engaging and communicating with young people?

I use a mix of platforms, including magazines, face-to-face and our large outreach team. Face-to-face is always the most effective method, but social media is great for engaging in conversations. We are also looking at using the websites Pinterest, Google+ and Storify.

- What media do you target?

Social media is high on our agenda, but local newspapers and media also have a massive role to play in reaching local communities. We run the Young Scot awards in partnership with the Sunday Mail, which publishes fantastic stories about the achievements of young people - celebrating these achievements is a big focus for us.

- What methods are best for gaining this positive coverage?

It is all about working with the media, gathering positive stories and sharing them. It is always about partnership to combat negative coverage, and our awards have been great for doing that.

- Which communications work by other charities do you admire?

From a social media perspective, I liked Shelter Scotland's recent Foursquare campaign, which had people checking in with their smart phones at the charity's shops. As for print media, Includem recently produced a beautiful achievement and impact report with some strong use of infographics.

The Scottish Youth Parliament won the Campaign of the Year at the Scottish Charity Awards 2012 last month for its Love Equally campaign, which lobbied for gay marriage. The campaign had impressive links between offline and online media.

Gregor Urquhart is the communications director for Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland

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