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Sacha Mandel: “Twitter is a small mirror very representative of the population”

Describe your background in a few words?

I started my job as a communicator at Havas, with Bernard Sananes, Laurent Habib and Stéphane Fouks: an irreplaceable, demanding and hyper stimulating school. I then joined the cabinet of Minister of Defense Le Drian on the very day of his appointment, May 16, 2012, as a press communications consultant for three and a half years. We covered foreign operations everywhere, in Afghanistan, Chad, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and especially Operation Serval in Mali (which preceded the Barkhane device counter-terrorism, Editor’s note). Finally, I embarked on entrepreneurship with Anne Hommel (high priestess of crisis communication, who notably managed the DSK affair). We share the leadership ofMajorelle agency, where we advise brands like Fnac, Darty, Warner Music, Salto. But also personalities like Gad Elmaleh or Laeticia Hallyday.

What is the best school to become a good communicator?

For me, without a doubt, the markets in Paris (laughs). I did this for ten years, every Sunday, getting up at 4 a.m., to go to a poultry stand. I continued, even after I landed my first job. I learned everything there. It uninhibits you, you understand that if we don’t trust you, we walk past your stand without stopping. You learn to retain your customers. We make a lot of friends, but you have to be a trader. This has been my family’s basic profession for 150 generations, I learned thousands of things there that serve me today.

Every time we went to an external theater of operations, there was a Breton flag that was hoisted for him. It delighted the minister, like a child who rediscovers the domain of his dreams

After three years spent with Jean-Yves Le Drian, what are your best memories?

I can tell you that Jean-Yves works his subjects until the file is exhausted… and his teams (laughs). Once in Cairo at around 2 a.m., he continued to question the ambassador about a Suez Canal company. It never ends, he is curious and disciplined in his search for information. In countries with non-temperate climates, where one has been up for 20 hours and one falls from fatigue, there is still one who still consults his files to the last comma. It is an incredible pleasure to accompany him, curious about the opinion of each one, with breathtaking synthesis capacities. I have never worked with another politician after him: I would inevitably have been disappointed.

With a strong Breton prism, right?

Yes, I remember his emotion every time we went to an external theater of operations, there was everywhere, somewhere, when he arrived, a Breton flag which was hoisted for him. Within a strong contingent of Breton airmen or sailors, there was bound to be someone raising the flag. It delighted the minister, like a child rediscovering the domain of his dreams. There were also always a thousand occasions when Jean-Yves Le Drian knew the father, the brother, someone from the family of Breton expatriates.

Within Majorelle, you have created a tool, Lucy, which allows you to carry out very precise opinion analyzes. Why on Twitter, rather than Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram?

Lucy offers opinion analysis solutions. The French talk about everything on Twitter, which also sells all the data, on condition of being a partner. Twitter is a small mirror, not only Parisian, but very representative of the population, on all subjects of discussion: TV, health, youtubers, cosmetic products … And contrary to what we think, hateful content are marginal.

And why social networks?

Because we are witnessing a reversal of information. The hearings are more and more fragmented. A popular talk show will reach 1.5 million people. Before, we read the press and the polls. Today, social networks have become the primary sources of information. Which capture 15 million French people at once. Counseling is better when it is augmented with data, like a general practitioner who gets help with an MRI.

There are as many interests in Brittany on Twitter as there are Bretons in France

You just carried out a study on Brittany, what did you learn there?

We learn several things from reading it. There are as many interests in Brittany on Twitter as there are Bretons in France. We learn how the Bretons get information, that Le Télégramme is the Bretons’ leading media in Brittany, that 10% of Bretons express a Breton identity and proudly claim it. We identify the most viral Breton influencers, such as Ronan Le Flécher or Breizh is Beautiful. Jean-Yves Le Drian is the most followed, and the mayor of Rennes Nathalie Appéré, the most visible.

Content that highlights Brittany?

Yes, heritage content has a very strong audience. The Bretons also have a strong tropism for European and international subjects, nine times more than the rest of the French. We also observe that the claimed regionalists, who make up 10% of Bretons, 25% of whom follow Le Télégramme, capture the attention of one in three Bretons and that one in five Bretons is a Parisian.

Our results often go against popular belief!

What are Lucy’s latest studies?

On Russian and Chinese propaganda in France, which are very different. The Russians attack the West which rejects them, while the Chinese speak only of themselves, reflecting the confidence they have in their model. On the French who revolt against the health dictatorship, anti-vaccines, the French and cosmetics and what influences them to buy… Our results often go against popular belief!

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