illustration Sandrine Vinzant, Director of Communications at INRAE

3 min

Sandrine Vinzant, Director of Communications at INRAE

Sandrine Vinzant always has a smile on her face. She is attentive and approachable, and brings a welcome sense of calm to an institute that fields a never-ending stream of requests with regards to its research in food, agriculture and the environment. With her extensive experience in communication and public relations, she became INRAE’s Director of Communications at INRAE on 1 January 2020, after having spent three years in the same position at INRA and a number of years at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Published on 13 December 2019 (date.last_update 24 June 2022)

From reviving and organising internal communication to creating a more coherent image of INRA for its different audiences, enhancing interaction with the network of communication contacts across the country, and launching and supporting the merger, Sandrine Vinzant had no shortage of exhilarating and sizeable challenges ahead of her when she arrived at INRA in January 2017. But she was certainly up to the challenge following her previous roles as advisor for communications and press relations at the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-food and Forestry and government spokesperson’s office.

An exciting project that requires our best communication skills both internally and externally

From the time she arrived at INRA, Sandrine lent her support to the Institute’s new president, who “embodied” and led the Institute’s new strategy, while taking into account the recommendations from the institute evaluation report published before he came on board. She was committed to better understanding the existing communication networks and tools, which were especially numerous in a research institute with multiple partnerships. With support from various stakeholders and the HR Department, she implemented an internal communication plan to provide greater consistency between the existing tools, developed a new national intranet portal, and began considering and then testing a collaborative social network in the organisation. Many different stakeholders are involved in INRA’s communication and reputation, from project leaders to unit managers, the centres and various divisions. This proliferation sometimes makes it difficult to have a comprehensive view of our audiences. Through the redesign of the website, Sandrine worked hard to develop greater coherence by avoiding multiple messages and tools. The merger is a chance to expand the website redesign for the new Institute and to rethink how the department is organised to take into account all the many internal demands. Public relations development is also a very important area of focus.

Having previously worked for the French central government, Vinzant has in-depth knowledge of the French civil service. She began her career at the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-food and Forestry in 1994, before joining the central administration where she held different positions in corporate and technical communication: Director of the Public Relations and Campaigns Department (2000-2003), Project Manager and Communications Director for the Directorate General for Economic and International Policy (2003-2007), and Director of Communications and Social Networks for the Information and Communication Division (2008-2012).

Nicole Ladettranslated by Teri Jones-Villeneuve