Using social media to recognize local businesses in Covington had an unexpected result.
Lauren Ravotti has been proactive in starting interactive groups and social media pages to promote things to do in Covington, along with promoting local businesses. This sparked the attention of the city, who named her the Covington Citizen of the Year.
Ravotti said she was shocked and was not expecting to get the award at all.
“I found out from an email from (communications manager) Karla. Got it in the middle of the night when I was up with one of my kids,” she said.
The social media site that Ravotti started is called “Around Covington.” Ravotti travels anywhere that is within 20 minutes of her Covington home and speaks with local business owners about their shop.
“I’ll hear something neat about them and I’ll go in there, I’ll chat with the people who work there, the owners and then I write a short little [post], usually a five to 10 sentence feature, and I post it on Instagram,” Ravotti said.
And with technology at its finest, Ravotti said when she uploads to Instagram, the post will also go to the Facebook page she created for Around Covington as well.
She started Around Covington in January and so far it’s received positive responses from the community, according to Ravotti. Ravotti started writing because she would learn about something cool in the city and then never really knew who to tell about it.
“It kind of gave me like a platform to share a lot about the neat things to do in our area. And people seem really excited about it, so I kept doing it,” she said.
The one thing Ravotti said she stands firm on is that she will not accept payment from any business she writes about. She said she’s aware it’s free advertisement for the businesses, but explained that most businesses she goes to are “mom and pop” shops and advertising can get expensive.
When she found out she received Citizen of the Year, Ravotti said she’s been having a hard time putting into words what it means to her.
“I’m very grateful and appreciative, but also completely shocked by this whole ordeal. I didn’t do my page ‘Around Covington,’ to ever be recognized. I like to be behind the scenes. It’s been hard to accept, maybe I should say because it’s a very public announcement,”she said. “But I honestly don’t know if I’m worthy of the award. I feel like there are so many more people in Covington who are giving of their time.”
Receiving the honor of Citizen of the Year seems to run in the family. Back when Ravotti lived in a small farm community in Eastern Washington, he dad won Citizen of the Year too.
For more information about “Around Covington,” go to facebook.com/AroundCovington/.