Snyde Comments: Humanity in Content and Business, Simply Effective

Dave Snyder


March 7, 2013 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

I am, and have been called many things, but first and foremost I am a human. This is the single fact that unites me with the 7 billion other passengers on this crazy planet. Because I am a human, I am involved in the same conditional elements that unite our collective experience. This is the definition of humanity:

The quality or condition of being human; human nature

Interestingly enough, from this same route we get another definition:

The quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.

As much as I could, and sometimes would like to argue that by definition humanity is corrupt, the reality is that for every yin there is a yang, and there is a great deal of good in this world. However, it is easy to argue that their isn’t enough. There could never be “enough” goodwill.

Conditional Humanity

Let’s start by looking at the condition of being a human. Everyone’s story is unique, but also contains threads that anyone can identify with. We are all born, we all live, we all die. We all must find ways to eat, breathe and find shelter. We all feel pain, and joy.

Conditional humanity is what makes story telling so compelling. The places where you can grab a glimpse of yourself in someone else’s story, and identify with the rest of their feelings and circumstances through those genuine threads.

My own story is something I have documented through several posts and interviews. I enjoy showing a good chunk of my scars and flaws, because I think they may be able to help other people from making some of the misguided mistakes I have. Those stories also have let people connect with me in ways I never thought possible. Sure not everyone has been through my exact experiences, but there is a core humanity, a base condition, that anyone can identify with.

Content that shows the condition of being human is extremely sticky.
Business experiences lack a certain humanity that is important to understand as well. So often decision making is guided by two basic concepts:
  1. Fear: Looking at the future of decisions and seeing the downside
  2. Regret: Looking at the past decisions made or not made and being unhappy with the way things turned out.
Everyone has felt these concepts in their professional career, and understanding how they are triggered and how to maneuver around and through them gives you a distinct advantage in almost every business related situation.

The Love of Humanity

Those of us that work online have to be among the most cynical people on the planet. Everyone is out to get us or pull the wool over our eyes, and we refuse to be tricked.

Marketers for a long time, myself included, took the route of being less than honest in order to achieve wins for our clients. The overall thinking was that transparency would lead to an unfavorable rejection rate in the world of earned media.

The reality we have learned at CopyPress is that transparency, respect and a strong sense of humanity can go a long way for enriching the lives of everyone involved in the content life cycle. The basis for this is again related to the conditional; putting yourself in the shoes of the other person. Content creators want to make a decent living for their craft, while advertisers need to get results for a budget. Both parties can win if they understand where the other is coming from. Marketers need to get content placed and publishers need content to drive visitors, where the relationship gets rocky is at its start when the marketer doesn’t take the time to understand the publisher’s needs.
Interactions based around basic common courtesy have lead to interactions like this that have completely floored me:
Funnily enough, people just want to be treated like people. It is when we lose sight of this, and treat people without a simple sense of humanity, that we lose some of what we could have achieved in regards to content. Creators paid and treated poorly will not create passionately, and publishers that feel abused will not respond.
And hopefully by approaching your content marketing in such a way people will treat you with humanity in situations that will confound you, such as this response we got:
And again the same goes for business. Treating customers, employees, and vendors with a basic level of kindness is essential to success in my humble opinion. The prototypical CEO that steps on necks, while lighting cigars with flaming $100 bills is not going to make it through this new open world, where emails and company documents leak daily.
To be successful, I believe we need to look at our foundation, our humanity. We must get back to that which is most basic, caring about each other in a community sense. More is to be gained then lost from such an approach.

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Dave Snyder

CopyPress writer

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