She’s helped Hometalk put the power in our content. Now she’s our Chief Content Officer.
Updated: Oct 27, 2022
Meet our team: Tikva Morrow, Chief Content Officer
At Hometalk, we love to highlight our creators who share their content with our community. However, none of what we do would be possible without our powerhouse of a team operating behind the scenes.
Tikva Morrow is as kind, compassionate, and fun as she is driven, reliable, and resourceful. She spends her days (and some nights) making sure that every Hometalk newsletter goes off without a hitch and ensures that the content is something Hometalk can be proud of while our creators can be celebrated for their work within. Additionally, she leads and supports the content and editorial teams while always remaining present and available to anyone who may ask for her time.
Her dedication to Hometalk and our team has never gone unnoticed. It only makes sense that Tikva is also our new Chief Content Officer.
Take a look at how Tikva has grown with Hometalk over the years, what inspires her, and why she looks forward to coming back every day.
When did you start working at Hometalk?
I started at Hometalk almost 8 years ago, right out of college, actually. I had just finished college and got married, and we had just moved to Jerusalem and started looking around for jobs.
What initially drove you to apply for a role at Hometalk back then?
I was really thinking I was going to move in the direction of journalism. I was looking for all different kinds of writing positions and writing on a team. Then, I stumbled across a post on Facebook where they were looking for a writer at Hometalk.
I had never been a huge DIYer, but I was very interested in DIY. I had also just moved into my first apartment, so I immediately connected to wanting to improve things and make things better on a budget.
It appealed to me even though I didn’t know anything about hi-tech or working in an office. It was not the work I envisioned in any way, but I figured I would give it a try as it seemed like an interesting writing position. From there, I read up a little bit on the company, sent off my resume and some writing samples, and gave it a shot.
After that, you began your first role at Hometalk as a content writer. What did that position look like in the beginning?
I was the first content-anything. They brought me in originally to write kind of more round-up style posts for the site. At that time, we also wrote for a lot of other outside publishers that we would send pieces out to and they would feature on their site. That was my whole role - to write up these articles based on Hometalk content for outside publishers. That was really where it all started.
What was the team structure like at the time in those earlier stages?
There was no team yet, really. It was basically developers and QA, and there was a designer. That was really the extent of what was happening on the creative side of the company. It was mostly still a development team. All of the content parts of it were happening with Miriam (Hometalk CMO) in the states. Even then, her content part was largely focused on the community and working with those community members to create content. We really didn’t understand the power that we had as a content publisher at that stage. So, it was really just like showcasing in the smallest way some of the content that we had.
You’ve progressed from the role of a content writer to the Head of Content and Distribution, and more recently an even newer title and position. Can you talk more about this new role?
My official title now is Chief Content Officer. It’s pretty much all of the stuff I’ve been doing like running the content distribution side of the company and the content, the quality assurance side, the strategy for incoming content for voice, tone, and UX copy, and all of those things. Now, it’s just more official which makes it fun because it means I get to weigh in more about the kind of bigger picture decisions. It’s fun to be able to bring the content piece and the voice and tone of the website into that. It’s really exciting to be in this role and share and celebrate with everybody.
What would you say your favorite part of your job is and why?
I love the people I get to work with. It's such a creative, invested, and passionate group of people. All of us have the same goal of bettering the experience for the audience and the contributors. It’s just really, really enjoyable to work on it together and to create this cohesive, living, breathing thing that is Hometalk and what it brings people.
When you think about your role, what is one thing that keeps you excited to start the day? Is there anything you look forward to no matter how many times you’ve done it?
People will often say things to me like, “How have you been doing the same thing day in and day out for almost 8 years?” or “How is it still interesting?” The truth is that what I do doesn’t ever get boring because everyone is always creating new things. It’s literally an endless feed of creativity all the time.
My favorite time of day is when I start newsletter sourcing and I get to go through all of the new projects and see what people create. Having the distribution in mind and knowing how I’m going to pitch it and how well it’s going to go over with the audience while I do that is an extra step of excitement. Really, it’s just being able to see how excited the creators are and the new ideas they bring every day. I never get tired of that, it’s really awesome.
Do you ever find inspiration in the content you look at? Any favorite projects?
Totally! I have a few things around my house that are just things I’ve loved and decided to recreate. I’m still too shy to try my hand at real tools, but if I did I would have done so many wall moulding makeovers it would be crazy. This year, there’s one craft I honestly can’t stop doing, and it’s the Terracotta style painting makeovers. I love it so much.
Without Hometalk, I would have zero houseplants because I wouldn’t have been brave enough to try it out. Now, I have some really flourishing plants all thanks to Hometalk. Lots of touches around the house are compliments of Hometalk inspiration.
What would you say some of the biggest challenges along the way have been?
I think the thing that has been the biggest challenge of growth at Hometalk has been that because we are kind of inventing a lot of what we do, for me there can be a lot of imposter syndrome. It can be hard to keep in mind and remember that the information I see every day and the skills I'm gaining are valuable information to other people outside of my direct circle.
Has there been anyone specific or an instance that kind of inspired you or guided you along the way?
For me, the best teacher has really been Miriam. Miriam was my first manager and from the very beginning, she has been the kind of person who is constantly learning and adapting. She is constantly reevaluating what she knows, how it can help, how it can be used in other ways, and how that information can be repurposed and repackaged. She’s really just reframing all the time. That has been a huge growth point to be able to see from my role and the company in general. She pivots and redirects constantly. She’s told me many times before, “If you’re not scared then it’s not a new opportunity and it’s not exciting.” So it’s like, okay… it’s scary, but I guess that’s a good thing. My role has transitioned so many times over the years. I’ve had to learn not to get too fixed on any one thing and to instead think, “Where’s the next place we can go?”, and “What’s the next direction that makes sense?” I think a lot of that is really in thanks to and inspired by Miriam.
What would you like to accomplish and instill in the team you lead now?
I think the biggest thing that I have learned and what I hope to instill in my team is the level of ownership that has to go into this role on many fronts. Partly because when you’re responsible for putting content in front of readers and representing the brand with every single thing you share, the most important piece of the puzzle is understanding the gravity of what that means for the website, your readership, and your brand and voice in general. And, the truth is (and thank God) the team gets it.
It’s a lot of ownership and understanding that whatever you choose to put out there is representative of the company. That email goes out rain or shine and is totally on you and your effort. It is 100% up to you to make sure that everything runs and works smoothly from the delivery to the user experience. We send out at least one email every single day, that's just one of our distribution platforms.
There’s a gravity of having to understand what you’re putting in each email and how you're pitching each piece. It has to appeal to people without turning them off to Hometalk or giving them the wrong idea of our ideas or our attitudes. For a lot of people in our generation, sharing stories comes in a way that feels a little snarky and jokey, and Hometalk isn’t snarky to our audience. These are pieces of content that people have placed in our care out of the goodness of their hearts to share their creativity. We are never negative, trying to put anyone down, or make anyone feel judged. Then, you still have to find a way to make it sound cool, interesting, clickable, and fun without leaning into rudeness. It’s not an easy mission. I think really being able to totally own that responsibility takes a lot, and I know my team understands that gravity. It’s really rewarding to watch each of them step up and understand what that means for their place in the Hometalk picture and in front of the audience.
Other than the positive angle we add to all of our distribution, what would you say is another unique aspect of working at Hometalk?
Since day one of working at Hometalk, the thing that continues to impress me is the leadership. Their investment in the company and the company culture has never been for the sole purpose of profit. Every single decision they make has been focused on thinking, "How can we make the work better…the experience for the employees better?...the culture better?" It’s never trying to suck the most out of people and most companies don’t work like that. Here are people at the very, very top trying to be as ethical and as moral as they can be. It doesn’t mean that every step of the way is totally smooth, but seeing people, especially the leadership, be that invested in the company being an upstanding company is really cool to see and it has never wavered. Our goal is to create better environments and better experiences. I think they continuously make efforts to continue doing that.
Would you say that dedication to the company culture & upholding a sense of moral integrity is your favorite part about Hometalk overall?
It’s a really good part of the company. I think one of my favorite parts of the company is the strong emphasis on a growth mindset and positivity. The people in the company enjoy working here and we enjoy each other. In the weekly meetings, even though we’re just little boxes on a screen, you can tell from everyone smiling and joking back and forth that there’s a positivity that goes into working together. Opportunities to learn from people on different teams just add to the fun, flow, and synergy of everyone working together.
I’ve never been annoyed to have to come and hang out with the people that work at Hometalk. Even when the work on any given day may not be so compelling, you’re struggling with a frustrating problem, or whatever it is, when you get to be around people you enjoy working with it’s a huge bonus. The company really recognizes that. Ezra (Hometalk CEO) has said a lot this year that the biggest asset for the company is the team. As long as the team is strong, working together, bouncing ideas off one another, and inspiring each other then there’s really no limit to what we can come up with and create.
What is it about Hometalk that has kept you here?
Part of it is that the work just does not get dull to me. The work continues to be interesting because I’m spending each day being inspired by people’s creativity.
Also, Hometalk is such a dynamic place. We never stay the same for very long and we’re always looking for the next thing we’re going to do. We don’t get locked into one set way of doing things. Hometalk is really always open to pivoting and changing. I think that that’s part of what has kept me for so long. It’s not like it gets stale. Having been at the company for 7+ years, what I've done has evolved so many times. It’s so, so different at every stage, but when you move on to the next stage you’re taking what you’ve learned along with you. I feel like at this point, just within Hometalk, I’ve had several different roles and I’ve learned so much from each of those roles. That keeps you feeling like there’s still so much growth opportunity.
Hometalk has always been interested in growing the team from within. They’re never interested in stalling someone. If you have an interest in getting more involved in this project or learning more about that thing, then it’s like they say more power to you. Let's figure out how to boost you forward. I think that continual interest has fed my growth over the past few years and kept me climbing and learning.
Is there anything that you’re particularly looking forward to for the future of Hometalk?
I am really excited about the exponential growth we’re doing. One of the really cool things that Ezra said to me when we spoke about me moving into this role was, “Great, now you’re part of the executive team, it’s on you to boost the next rung up. Look at the managers you oversee and work on boosting them even higher.”
First of all, it’s just such a cool approach for someone in this position to recognize that it’s your job to look around you and pull everyone else up along with you. This is not always an approach I would expect from a manager and it’s a very cool growth focus approach. It also makes me excited for the whole team as we grow and expand with all of these new verticals and opportunities within VerticalScope. There’s the feeling of it’s just going to get bigger from here. The fact that I’m now in a position where I get to watch my whole team advance together is super rewarding and exciting. It really just makes it feel like the doors are all open for all of us and we’re just going to keep growing and pushing each other forward. It’s huge.
If you could say anything to someone wondering if Hometalk would be the right fit for them as an employee, what would it be?
Don’t feel limited by the information that you know now, because the best way to learn and to grow here, that I’ve found, is on the job. The best information that you’re going to get for how to excel at any given task or role is by doing it and being open to feedback to learn through the experience. After that, you will have more experience and skill than the most qualified person for the job because you’ll have done it. So, I would say to be open to taking on something that you may not feel like you can do yet. You will be given everything you need and more, and before you know it you will be an expert. In my experience, that has been the best way to learn and grow at Hometalk. Jump in, go for it, get the feedback and incorporate it into moving forward.
Doesn’t Tikva make you want to be on her team? We’re so happy to have her as a team member and role model and can’t wait to see how she helps take Hometalk even further.