IT came as quite a surprise to pick up a Whatsapp message to say a 'fire side chat' was being arranged with the new First Minister by the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists’ Association for the next day and to get my name down if I wanted to go.

The invitation came my way mid afternoon on April 5 when along with colleagues I was busy covering the dramatic arrest by police investigating SNP finances of Peter Murrell, the SNP's former chief executive and husband of Nicola Sturgeon who had formally stood down as First Minister just the week before.

All day the news about Mr Murrell, later released without charge pending further investigation, and the search of the home he shares with his wife near Glasgow, as well as that of the SNP's headquarters near the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, kept on rolling.

Family and friends in Northern Ireland and London - who are not usually avid followers of Scottish politics - were furiously texting me to ask 'What is going on with the SNP?'

That was the question on my mind when I turned up on the chilly doorstep of Bute House just after 1pm the next day.

I wasn't, it has to be said, hugely optimistic that I would find out that much as I stepped over the threshold of the New Town property.

As it turned out I was wrong and came away with considerably more insight than I had when I went in.

But looking back now what was at least as interesting as the information gathered was the nature of the briefing itself and the fact it was happening at all. It was an eye opener into Humza Yousaf's way of doing business with the media.

Gone were the hard chairs lined in rows from the Sturgeon era with TV reporters perched at the front and the press pack at the back like naughty children in chemistry class. In were comfy sofas and arm chairs arranged around a large coffee table.

Newspaper journalists were the ones given the space to ask questions - around 15 or so from all the main titles – with broadcasters asked to wait to the end (normally it’s the other way). There were no cameras.

Over half an hour Mr Yousaf, appearing relaxed without jacket and tie, answered questions, subject to restrictions of the live police inquiry, on a wide range of issues including the SNP leadership race and the timing of Mr Murrell's arrest, how the party operates and should operate and on how long his own career in the top job may last.

It was a clearly, and rather cleverly, a move to be appear transparent and fair and open to scrutiny, to present himself as a First Minister with a very different style from his predecessor.

My initial news instinct, I believe, proved correct, when the First Minister this week paused several of the key policies championed by the Sturgeon government such as the deposit return scheme, the ban on alcohol advertising and the proposals for the National Care Service.

The problem, of course, for Mr Yousaf is how to get the general public interested in all the new plans he wants to pursue when what they really just want to know is 'what's happening to the SNP?' as the next chapter in his party's story unfolds.