Let me tell you about the Content Newsroom.
Not the formalities that you’ll find on the About page, but the culture of the site – and if you belong here. I’m sorry, but not everyone does.
Here’s the short list. This site’s for you if you want to improve your content marketing and:
- You have a newsroom sense of humor (which you probably have to suppress if you don’t currently work in a newsroom).
- You can tell sleazy jokes but aren’t sleazy. I’m not talking sexual sleazy; I don’t care what you do in the bedroom or a back alley. I’m talking the lying, weasely kind of sleazy. Ew.
If you’re thinking, “Perfect! That’s me!” you could stop reading because you fit in. But I recommend you continue reading so there isn’t any confusion about what’s allowed on the site.
If you’re not sure this site’s for you, or are just curious, read on.
As a child of the newsroom, I have a newsroom sense of humor that I bring to this site. I’ve toned it down quite a bit since newspaper layoffs pushed me to switch to the marketing dark side, where I’ve had to suppress my true nature.
It’s kinda funny how you have to appear more buttoned up to live on the dark side. That’s probably supposed to be part of its seduction … but, mostly it’s the money.
What’s a newsroom sense of humor? Let me share an anecdote from an actual newsroom. If you think it’s funny, this site’s probably for you. If you don’t, this site will probably offend you.
Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a magical place called a newsroom. It was filled with creatures called reporters and editors, who did great deeds like keep the government in check for the citizens of the land.
They also reported tragic news events to the citizens, covering such horrors that they had to lighten the mood with a magical power called newsroom humor. That’s probably why the newsroom was locked away in the darkest corner of the darkest buildings – to shield the citizens from the humor they wouldn’t understand.
You see, to the newspaper people, everything is funny. It has to be in order to get through each day. (They also often used a magical elixir called booze – but so did the citizens.)
And so my tale begins.
One day, a citizen’s house burned down and the newsroom had to report the story.
The newspaper needed a photo to go with the story, and the Editor – making fun of our terrible jobs, not the citizen’s tragedy – jokingly said to the rest of us in the newsroom, “We’re so awful. Excuse me, sir? Can you go stand on that burned pile of rubble where your house used to be so we can get a picture?” We all laughed. This, of course, is not how the situation was handled with the actual unfortunate citizen. The newspaper people would never hurt someone like that.
Unbeknownst to the Editor, a citizen who worked in the newspaper’s ad department walked in just in time to hear his joke and said, “Wow, would you make fun of me if my house burned down?” She was terribly offended.
The Editor had to explain that he wasn’t making fun of the citizen. He explained that we need to joke about these things to get through the day – hopefully with a little less magical elixir. (It’s more expensive than humor and the newspaper people didn’t make much money. You see, theirs was a labor of love – not money.)
That’s where my tale ends.
Oh, and they all lived happily ever after. Well, maybe not that one citizen with the fire, but I haven’t followed up on that. I hope he’s doing well these nine years later.
As I said, I’ve toned down my newsroom humor since leaving the news biz. One, because it’s not appropriate for the real world and, two, because I don’t need it as much anymore. I can let tragedy affect me now. I can empathize because I’m not bombarded with tragedy all day every day anymore.
I’m not going to publicly joke about tragic events on this site, and I don’t want you to either, because it’s not confined to a private room. That would hurt people. And newspaper people are about helping people. That’s what I’m about. But don’t worry; I’m not always going to censor my sense of humor.
If the story above offends you, this site isn’t for you, but thanks for visiting.
Talk Some Sleaze Without Walking Other Sleaze
As mentioned in the beginning, I don’t care about your sexual habits. I care so little about them, that I’d appreciate you not sharing them on the site. 🙂
But – I’m cool with dirty jokes and trashiness in general. Check out my Get Your Mind into the Gutter post for an example. If it offends you, this site isn’t for you. And, again, thanks for visiting.
So … what’s the sleaze that bothers me?
Lying bothers me. Manipulation bothers me. Hubris bothers me. Bullying bothers me. Scamming bothers me.
And they should bother you, too, or you’re not a good fit for the Content Newsroom community.
There are others, but I think you get the idea.
I’m about the truth, honesty, helping people and doing what’s right, and that’s what the Content Newsroom tribe is about, too.
We can spot manipulation, including trolls, a mile away and won’t fall for it. If you’re a malicious manipulator, don’t try. Just leave.
OK, some of you might be thinking: But you’re a marketer. Isn’t lying and manipulation kind of your thing?
There are some marketers like that. That’s not me and that’s not this community.
- I’m here to help you help your customers and grow your audience by giving them honest, helpful information in an authentic way.
- I’m here to help you do good and not resort to manipulative tactics.
If you’re looking for devious, manipulative tactics, you’re in the wrong place.
Disclaimer: I do practice and preach persuasive writing tactics and strategy but not to trick people into buying things they don’t want or need.
The word “persuasive” sounds sleazy, but not in the context I’m using it in.
For example, if you have a more expensive product than others on the market, genuinely explaining the extra value your product offers is not sleazy persuasion. Overpricing without added value and making up value that isn’t there is sleazy persuasion.
Who Are You People?
I kinda love that after reading this, everyone I’ve worked with in marketing is thinking: Tracy, is that really you? Who is this person?
Post-newsroom, I stopped editing the news and started editing myself.
Here, in the Content Newsroom, I can finally be myself again.
And you can be yourself here, too.
Disclaimer: I’m Not Always Like This
I feel like I need another disclaimer here.
It’s bound to happen. You’re going to read one of my posts and wonder what happened to all of the humor and sleaze that I went on about here.
WARNING! I don’t always include inappropriate humor and sleaze in my content.
In fact, sometimes, I can be downright bland or formal in my post presentation. A lot of people who don’t get the Content Newsroom style will probably like those posts and think this site is for them – and that’s fine. Until they get to one of those posts that isn’t for them.
That’s it. Sometimes the style of the content depends on the content topic – or my mood.
I’m writing this post to define the culture of Content Newsroom so readers aren’t blindsided by occasional filth. 😉
Crying in Joy, Not Disgust?
Are you looking for a fun, funny and helpful community – with slightly-toned-down newsroom humor and the right kind of sleaze – to share content marketing advice and stories?
If so, you fit in here and have found your tribe. Welcome!
Thank you so much for joining us. I’m really excited to have you here, and I hope you’re excited to be here.
Please introduce yourself in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!
To get my free, six-part Content Tips from the Newsroom Course, along with exclusive offers, news and tips from the Content Newsroom, click here to sign up to our email list with the simple form – and become a Content Newsroom Insider now!
Top, modified image thanks to David Goehring. (Check out his original image and its story here. Hint: It’s about how to pronounce his last name.)
All other photos, in the order they appear, by Ceriseyy, Joshua Blount, Andrea Allen, rochelle hartman, and Morgan. (Check out Morgan’s photo here for the “All your base are belong to us!” back story and to read that T-shirt. Pretty awesome.)
All photos are under the same Creative Commons license.