"Telling the transformation has become even more exciting"
Julien LANDFRIED, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Gecina, this is interview 18 in our
Julien Landfried has graduated from HEC Paris then he, he began working in the media industry in 2002. As the marketing director of the CFPJ, he continued with the weekly Marianne where he directed internet activities. In particular, he created Marianne2007.info for the presidential election before creating in 2009 ParisTech Review, an online media backed by the Paris Tech group of grandes écoles. In 2012, submitted his candidacy for the legislative elections of Hauts-de-Seine. In 2013, he joined the world of consulting, that of communication agencies and Publicis Consultants in particular. He joined the Influence division as a partner and advised numerous companies, particularly in the real estate sector, before joining Gecina in 2017.
1- How is Gecina doing today?
Gecina is doing pretty well. We have just announced our annual results for 2020. Our office rents increased by 3% and by 2.3% in total with residential. We also managed to collect almost all of the rent due and took the opportunity to reduce our level of debt. And then we marketed 162,000 new square meters of office space. Our real estate company today has one of the healthiest and most solid financial positions in its sector in Europe. Finally, we continued our transformation and accelerated the deployment of our YouFirst service brand.
2- Is there still a place for Covid Free communication?
The economy continues and to lead the race for innovation, quality of service, internationalization ... companies are rethinking and reorganizing themselves very profoundly. With the crisis, the scale and speed of the transformations have accelerated further. In fact, telling the story of the transformation has become even more exciting. There is space for that and an appetite for our audiences who are waiting to be offered other topics..
3- What is the impact of the crisis on your communication and that of your industry?
At the start of the crisis, some believed that remote work would be the alpha and omega of the organization of work. Today it's over, we realized its limits and the multiple problems that this posed on attention, creativity, the (over) work of parents and especially women, team cohesion… The need for office space has never been clear for companies but also for employees. This context is the opportunity for us to better value our places of life and what we do with them and to tell a strong story to convince of the promising future of our business. The crisis forces us to be even more convincing.
4- media relations by Covid time, it's easier or harder?
The health situation has reinforced the need to maintain direct and face-to-face contact with journalists. We have increased the number of meetings to create relationships, maintain them, explain what we do ... The digital invasion has paradoxically reinforced the need for links. Time must be given to journalists. Trust is a strategic asset.
5- Your purpose is the first thing you see on your site. Why ?
Because there is a strong link between our business convictions and the need to make our contribution to society, Gecina has placed innovation and people at the heart of its strategy to create value. And that's what our raison d'être revealed last summer: "Sharing human experiences at the heart of our sustainable living spaces". Of course, the world is becoming digital, but we need to create human relationships with our customers through services, experiences ... in ecologically sustainable places of life. Our raison d'être is very business-oriented and transformative. It required a lot of work and multiple internal and external consultations with our stakeholders. 2021 will be the year of its application and follow-up. It will help us operate our business and inform our decisions. The reason for being is a compass, a GPS.
6- The crisis has boosted podcast listening. However, you invested in this new format very early on. What's the secret to a successful branded podcast?
Having quality corporate content with substance in which the brand voluntarily takes a back seat is a formidable tool of influence! We are now in season 2 of "The Urban" which questions our relationship to the city and urban lifestyles. Intellectuals such as sociologists Jean Viard and Saskia Sassen, economist Pierre Veltz and geographer Magali Reghezza-Zitt have come to make their contribution to help us think about the city of tomorrow. The podcast is a calm medium, a medium for reflection and long time with no expiration date like a good book, a good novel or a good essay. It allows us to share the big questions that drive us and to offer our audience qualitative, deep relationships and not just immediacy. People no longer support promotional content and they are in such demand that in order to emerge you have to produce content with a much finer execution.
7- A tweet from Elon Musk and it's the value of Gamestop stock or bitcoin that soars. It inspires you what?
This episode shows that Ambassadors have the ability to influence the investment and savings strategies of millions of individuals seeking advice. Whether savers or shareholders prefer Elon Musk to their bankers, that says a lot about the relevance of wealth management advice and the trust they place in it. Because one of the great topics of our rich and industrialized societies is retirement and access to quality advice to grow our savings. It also tells the story of the power of peer counseling. Friends, acquaintances, relatives… are better than experts. Finally, this raises the question of the quality of financial communication for players like us. We will have to be even more transparent, more exhaustive and more responsive to individual shareholders to give them the means to make the right decisions. We are also working on a dedicated digital offer so that they can consult their investments online and proceed directly to arbitrations.
8- Trump was a disruptor of political communication, between alternative truths and unwanted tweets. What lessons for corporate communication?
With Trump, more and more brands have taken positions on political, societal or cultural topics and it is likely that in the future, companies will be expected on 2 or 3 strong positions. They will also have to prove it and show how they are real. Social networks are a playground for that. This was already in the making before Trump, but his presidency has been an accelerator.
9- Opinion leaders and young people who close their social accounts. A fundamental movement in your opinion?
Whether good or not, violent or compassionate ... the nature of the debates does not call into question the increasingly important place that platforms will take in our lives. The success of private, closed and more secure messaging services such as Whatapp, Wechat, Signal… tell the same story. Basically, social networks are reminiscent of the birth of private radio stations in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. It was an incredible rat race and then it was necessary to regulate the radio stations from a regulatory point of view and editorial. Now, the level of violence on social networks like Twitter forces us to think about ending the anonymity that I feel is necessary to clean up discussions, like what happens on LinkedIn. If we want journalists, intellectuals and elites to continue to do their jobs, we need to provide them with a more protective framework. We have the right to question them but not to insult them. This will ultimately give more economic value to social networks. However, we must tolerate the spirit of dissent. It is the very heart of the democratic ideal, but a democracy that organizes collective discussion.
10- And finally some reasons to hope for better days?
I am in awe of what is being invented today and I remain confident. I trust men and women of good will to invent different things, adopt a more collective approach and respond to a demand for inclusion that is stronger than before, whether it is to face climate change, bring more proximity and of humanity to clients who expect richer relationships ... Look at the speed with which a Covid vaccine has been developed! It’s a conviction, never say never.
About Gecina- http://www.gecina.fr
Specializing in centrality and uses, Gecina operates innovative and sustainable living spaces. The real estate investment company owns, manages and develops the leading office portfolio in Europe, almost 97% located in Ile-de-France, a portfolio of residential assets and student residences, which represent more than 9 000 homes. Its assets are valued at 19.7 billion euros at the end of 2020. Gecina is a listed real estate investment company (SIIC) on Euronext Paris. It has integrated the SBF 120, CAC Next 20, CAC Large 60, Euronext 100 indices and is among the best performing companies in its sector in the benchmark extra-financial rankings (GRESB, Sustainalytics, MSCI, ISS-ESG, CDP) .
About Epresspack : www.epresspack.com
Publisher and SAAS specialist, Epresspack deploys platforms that help organizations think of themselves as media serving their reputation and influence. Aimed at communication professionals (communication and marketing directors, press and public relations managers and advisers, etc.), its all-in-one tools allow the publication, certification and distribution of information in various formats (press releases and press kits, newsletters, blogs, webinar, live, posts, etc.) to the press, influencers, shareholders and other stakeholders. They also manage audiences and manage projects. Some 300 multisectoral companies such as the Accor Group, ADP, AstraZeneca, Audi, Bouygues, BPI France, Dove, EDF, Elsan, Hermès, Kering, ING, Leboncoin, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Louis Vuitton, Les Echos, PMU, SACEM, SNCF, Vivatech or Volkswagen… have adopted and approved this latest generation European technology. Founded and chaired by Antoun Sfeir, Epresspack is a player in Frenchtech, a stakeholder in the communication and information sector, which brings together some 50 employees in Paris, London, Milan and Madrid.