Carvel scoops up Lauren Bernath to lead comms, social

The brand previously separated the role of PR manager and social media manager.

ATLANTA: Carvel has named Lauren Bernath as senior PR and social media manager, a newly created role at the Focus Brands-owned ice cream company.

Bernath stepped into the role on August 6 and reports to Nicolle DuBose, Carvel’s senior director of marketing. Previously, Carvel separated the roles of PR manager and social media manager. Matthew Courtoy was senior social manager for Carvel and Schlotzsky’s and Loryn Franco was Carvel’s PR director. Franco has moved to Schlotzsky’s to lead PR.

Bernath said her role is a hybrid of what Courtoy and Franco previously handled.

"[This new role is] a nod to the direction and blend of our worlds coming together more organically," she explained. "When we are looking at initiatives, I am going to take a 360-degree approach and say, ‘How can we make this more than just a PR opportunity, but it has social legs?’ Or if it is a social-driven campaign, is there a PR component of that?"

Bernath will manage all of Carvel’s agency partners in addition to developing the strategy behind Carvel’s PR and social initiatives. She will also handle community management and customer relations.

Most recently, she was senior content marketing manager for ad agency 22squared. Before that, Bernath managed Whole Foods Market’s south regional social media, digital marketing, and PR efforts for three years.

Highlights from Carvel's social media team over the past year include an HQ Trivia parody, featuring "Scott Rockyroadsky" quizzing fans, aka "Carvel Cuties," on Twitter; and the brand’s tweet in response to Tina Fey’s "sheetcaking" bit on Weekend Update: Summer Edition.

Earlier this month, fellow Focus Brand Moe’s Southwest Grill selected Verchele Wiggins Roberts as VP of marketing. The Tex-Mex chain’s PR manager Lindsay Haynes told PRWeek the last person to lead marketing at Moe’s was Dominic Losacco, who left the restaurant chain in May to join The Krystal Company as CMO.

In June, Moe’s named Courtoy as senior manager of social and digital strategy. Victoria Nielsen, who oversaw Moe’s and Cinnabon, transitioned to senior social and digital manager at Schlotzsky’s. Marissa Sharpless is overseeing social and PR for Cinnabon.

These moves were part of Focus Brands’ efforts to restructure the way its staff handles social media for each of its brands, including Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Social media managers are now focusing on one brand each, rather than managing multiple brands. Focus Brands’ other chains are Auntie Anne’s, McAlister’s Deli, and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

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