Social-media-as-part-of-an-influence-strategy_Imfusio
Imfusio
10 April 2024

Safic-Alcan


Telling the story
behind the brand



 

Safic-Alcan is a global distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients with an impressively long history.

Celebrating the company’s
anniversary in print

Founded in France in 1847 and operating worldwide, Safic-Alcan wanted to gift its clients, partners and suppliers (otherwise known in the industry as principals) a beautiful coffee-table book for its 175th anniversary. The distributor had already published a first company book in 1997 and asked me to write about the last 25 years of the company’s history. They also wanted to include new elements about their commitment towards a more sustainable industry.

Working with a creative team
from the very beginning

In view of the various challenges involved in publishing a book, I partnered with Sophie Gex, an artistic director: we worked together to highlight the values, history and vision of Safic-Alcan in words and images. I also worked with an English translator and long-standing colleague, Hannah Lawrence, along with English and French proofreaders to ensure a flawless publication in both languages.

Our process

Our multi-stage process over the course of this (long) project included:
    1. Working with Hannah to transcribe the French and English versions of the “first volume” (1847-1997), since we only had access to hard copies.
    This was an opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the material, check for inconsistencies and make recommendations for adjustments.
    2. Interviewing several employees at Safic-Alcan to gather the information I needed to devise a flatplan for this second volume.
    3. Obtaining Safic-Alcan’s approval firstly of the general structure and then of the French text which I wrote.
    4. Sharing the French version with Hannah for translation into English and to Sophie for work on the book’s layout and design.
    Overseeing the translation process into English improved my source text in French: a question from Hannah made me realise that clarification was needed in the French version, for instance.
    5. Sending Sophie’s layout of both the French and English versions to our proofreaders.
    Once again, I checked to see whether the comments made in one language applied to the other.
    6. Sending the book to press, almost a year after the first interview!

The project’s culmination

As the grand finale of the project, the company organised a wonderful event at the Palais Garnier during which guests received a copy of the book. Both the event and the project have certainly made a long-lasting impression on me.


‘I couldn't wait to have a look. […] I must congratulate you. You've understood exactly how Safic-Alcan works. Thank you for your hard work.'


Martial Lecat, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Safic-Alcan Group

Reaching
a larger audience

I’d been working with Imfusio on projects related to influence and social media for two years when they decided to build a platform to make their transformation resources available to a larger audience. The platform includes a resource centre for clients and an open-source library, available to anyone who visits Imfusio’s website.

Tools to ensure
consistency

For the library’s launch, we decided to provide a first batch of information sheets, each describing a facilitation technique or a tool from a practical angle. The platform was designed to be updated with new content on a regular basis. Reflecting Imfusio’s commitment to individual empowerment, I did my best to provide tools to ensure autonomous and consistent content production over time.

Tone of voice, editorial guidelines and glossary

The first step in this project was to formalise Imfusio’s tone of voice in a document and list the characteristics and constraints specific to the platform. This ever-evolving document was designed to be updated on a regular basis; I was able to amend it after Matters, the UX design agency which developed the platform, tested the interface’s microcopy on real users.

Conscious that the platform would be translated into English, I suggested developing a glossary from the start of the project; it was used and updated later by the translation agency.

Rewriting information sheets for the open-source library

The next step involved compiling existing material, asking (plenty of) questions and rewriting the content to reflect the template designed by Imfusio. As a fresh pair of eyes, I was able to standardise the information sheets while making sure the concepts and techniques would be easily understood by an audience with little experience of facilitation.

Rewriting information sheets for Imfusio

Imfusio also hired a specialist to write additional gated long-form content: at every step of the project, I worked closely with Anne-Sylvie to ensure our work formed a coherent and complementary whole.

Working on better taxonomy

The next step involved compiling existing material, asking (plenty of) questions and rewriting the content to reflect the template designed by Imfusio. As a fresh pair of eyes, I was able to standardise the information sheets while making sure the concepts and techniques would be easily understood by an audience with little experience of facilitation.

A continuous process

The reception to the first batch of information sheets was very positive and we’re already working on new content to further enhance the library.

More importantly, we’ve ensured everybody within the organisation, both now and in the future, will be able to create new content which is consistent with previously published information sheets.



‘Loreleï helped us perfect our editorial tone and ensured our documents and our jargon were accessible and appealing to a wide audience. She quickly understood our approach, our needs and our values: she now anticipates our questions and reactions and makes excellent suggestions. She adapted to our way of working and our particular need for flexibility and she was unfailingly enthusiastic :)’


Marie Beriot O’Connell, transformation designer at Imfusio