Be A Better Human With Eleni Kouvatsos
We’ve had the pleasure of working with First Watch for a number of years, but we are especially grateful for the close relationships we’ve formed with their people, including Eleni Kouvatsos.
While we offer First Watch a full digital marketing strategy – including paid media, email, website development and analytics – our story with First Watch really began with organic social, of which Eleni is the lead.
“I have the wonderful opportunity to lead public relations and communications for First Watch,” says Eleni. “I’m one of a few of our team members that has the chance to work daily with our partners at Vert Digital, particularly tapping into their expertise as it relates to social media and web content strategy.”
But, this wasn’t always the case; Eleni has worn many hats throughout her time at First Watch, but 2020 brought about significant change in the restaurant industry.
The Creation of Be A Better Human
“In April and May of 2020, we temporarily closed a majority of our restaurants to make improvements related to safety and off-premise accessibility,” says Eleni. She saw this as an opportunity and promptly became involved in helping form our content direction. Together, we took the former food-centric focus on social and injected a much-needed human aspect to create a more comprehensive, compelling content strategy.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we really started focusing on the human aspect.Eleni Kouvatsos
“Once we began reopening most of our restaurants in June and July 2020, the tone of our content shifted noticeably,” says Eleni. “In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we really started focusing on the human aspect. Not only were the people in our communities afraid of this virus, but they were also faced with a social movement against racial injustice in our country.”
Thus, Be A Better Human, was born. Eleni says, “Be A Better Human is a movement within our organization, initially spurred by the unjust killings of people like George Floyd and hundreds of other black Americans. We decided enough was enough – it was vital that we not only acknowledge the racial disparities and injustices woven throughout our society, but more importantly – we needed to turn our words into actions.”
Our team at Vert was more than happy to help this vision come to life. The Be A Better Human initiative included First Watch, as a brand, taking a stance against racial injustices, acknowledging the daunting reality of the pandemic, and thanking First Watch team members and their customers in a real and emotional way.
Bringing Be A Better Human to Life
Starting in September 2020, we helped Eleni produce biweekly Be A Better Human posts on social, featuring First Watch team members of all different walks of life; some that have been with First Watch for over 20 years, and others who have overcome tremendous hardship throughout their lives and found solace in their First Watch family.
“The people at First Watch who serve our communities every day are diverse in race, culture, sexual orientation, life experience and more,” says Eleni. “We realized more than ever the importance of acknowledging and celebrating those differences.”
We compiled a list of questions Eleni could ask the First Watch team members that were to be featured, and she coordinated, conducted, and reported every interview. She’d then send us the interview report and pictures of the team member to include in our social content strategy.
The Vert design team created a custom template for each Be A Better Human feature that includes multiple photos of team members’ headshots, family, and moments at First Watch. This series, containing cohesive design elements, can be seen across First Watch’s Instagram and Facebook pages and continues to be a staple in our ongoing content.
The Impact of Be A Better Human
We’re immensely happy to report the significant impact Be A Better Human has had on First Watch’s social presence. With each Be A Better Human post, we’ve seen more team members and customers reach out to suggest and nominate First Watch employees that have positively affected their dining experiences and lives.
The future of Be A Better Human is one of inclusion, diversity celebration, and, above all else, being a better human. Eleni has been an amazing and collaborative partner throughout the launch of Be A Better Human and beyond, and we are elated to create more compelling stories alongside her and the First Watch team.
“We, as one organization, may not be able to infiltrate the entire country with this message,” says Eleni. “But if we help encourage others, both inside and outside our organization to open their minds and stand up for what’s right, that’s a win.”