Ronni Newton

Company: We-Ha.com

Location: West Hartford

Tell us about your community building activities in 2020?

The year 2020 was a year like no other, but it provided opportunity for We-Ha.com to have an impact greater than only sharing news about West Hartford. There have been stories about schools closing, state of emergency, COVID-19 cases, and sadly about fatalities. But we also highlighted good news in a series of "silver lining" features, covered new business openings, let the community know about local heroes and when it's time to ring bells or hold a candlelight vigil, and highlight diversity.

What community building goals did you accomplish or milestones did you hit in 2020?

We saw incredible growth in readership with just over 2.8 million page views (up from 2.2 million in 2019) from 983,644 unique visitors in 2020. At year end, we grew to 10,506 Facebook followers and 3,713 Twitter followers; subscriptions to our free Mon/Wed/Fri email newsletter grew to more than 6,500; launched a series of "silver lining" and "making lemonade" good news features; weekly roundtable Facebook Live; and created a searchable table for restaurant takeout/delivery that had >30K views.

Nominator Justification

As editor of we-ha.com, a hyperlocal website covering news of West Hartford, Ronni Newton has literally build the popular site from scratch during the past 6 1/2 years, and hit new milestones during the past 12 months. It is THE website that West Hartford residents go to for the latest community news, covering a wide range of subjects - business, education, gov't, schools, sports, +. Ronni is literally everywhere simultaneously, and her work connects the community and informs everyone.

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