Castleford’s very own three-eyed raven – We chat with long-time writer Ben Parsons
Assistant Editor Ben Parsons has been with Castleford for so long he’s like the three-eyed raven from “Game of Thrones” – you know, that old bloke in the tree. When tree roots aren’t creeping around him, Ben can be found managing editorial resources, mentoring newer staff members, helping develop company processes and – as if that’s not enough – writing for a wide portfolio of clients.
We caught up with Ben to find out more about him, and how he’s found rising up through our editorial ranks.
You’ve been here longer than any other writer – what’s it been like, writing for so many years?
Thanks for reminding me. One of the great things about being a writer at Castleford is the sheer diversity of what we write about.
When I first started [ed’s note: this may have been when dinosaurs were around], I was a business and technology writer before making a switch to our travel and lifestyle team, which later became lifestyle and property. Now I’m on the Small Business team, which covers all four sectors and then some. This has meant I’ve been involved with hundreds of different clients and been able to explore some really interesting topics.
I guess I’m pretty lucky to be paid as a writer, and Castleford has provided constant challenges to improve my skills over the years.
Now you’re an assistant editor. What’s your favourite part of the latest job?
I think my favourite part is the opportunity to shape the workflows of not only our editorial team, but also how we interact with other departments – which is really vital to success.
Having been a graduate writer, content writer, content sub-editor, senior writer and now assistant editor, I’ve experienced all the highs and lows of editorial. But now I get to play an active role in making positive adjustments for the future.
It’s also pretty sweet to work with the talented Ed Management team of Shane, Sabrina, James and Greg – we all bring different strengths to the table that cover all aspects of Castleford life.
What are the best and weirdest things you’ve gotten to write about?
Weirdest? I wrote a piece for one of my favourite clients (Aurora Expeditions) about the difference between a Naturalist and Naturist. It was a pretty cheeky article, but the client loved it!
As for the best, that has to be travel.
When you’re researching some of the most beautiful locations in the world, it’s easy to get lost on Instagram and start dreaming about a holiday. I’ve been lucky to write for some of our biggest travel clients and have managed to influence topic ideas based on my own travels – easy sourcing!
We know you’re a big sports fan – but what if you could only play one sport for the rest of your life? Which would it be?
Football. I ruptured my Achilles playing football in August and was gutted to miss the rest of the Castleford football team’s season. I’ve played since I was 5 years old and continue to love the game – despite New Zealand missing yet another world cup. Damn Peru.
If you found a $10 million Lotto ticket this arvo, what would you do with it?
It’s going to sound boring, but being an Aucklander, I’m going to say “invest in property”. It would probably only get me one place in this expensive city, but I’d love to get a house out at the beautiful North Piha, a favourite summer spot since I was a kid.
Is it also enough to buy out Wenger’s contract?
If you were plonked in the Hunger Games with every other Castleford member, how long do you think you’d last?
If I was still in my moon boot, I’d certainly buy some time for everyone else. Now, I think I could easily beat a few people. I’m not going to name names of course, but since I’m the longest-standing member of editorial, surely I can do the Hunger Games as well?