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Wrist tattoos, squash injuries and content marketing inspiration from ‘Stranger Things’: Q&A with Head of Inside Sales, Jonathan Bond

Between his squash games and constant running around the office, we managed to catch up with Jonny Bond to ask him a few questions.

We talked about his experiences working for Castleford, the meaning behind his wrist tattoos and some questionable taste in music found in his playlist.

1. What do you like most about working at Castleford?

Rob Cleeve. I love him and he loves me.

2. If you could go back to your first day at Castleford what advice would you give to your younger self?

It’s weird thinking of a younger me – I still feel super young as it is! I guess if there was one thing, it would be to trust myself a bit more. Self-doubt makes doing something twice as hard as it should be. One other thing would be to always do what a physio tells you to do.

3. Care to elaborate on that last piece of advice?

Well. OK. So, first off, I’m a keen sportsman. I feel that’s important to point out. Now, sport – whatever sport it may be, will always throw up the potential for injury. I happen to be an avid squash player. I could speak for a while on the epicness that is the squash game but, I do realise it’s not for everyone. Even for the novices out there, though, I’m sure it’s easy to understand that squash is a tough sport on the joints (knees, ankles etc). It’s a very dynamic game, lots of stop-start motions – have a Google, and you’ll see that I speak the truth. Unfortunately for this squash fan, I managed to mash up my right ankle during a particularly heated rally about 3 months back. What I neglected to do, however (as per the above question and response), was listen to proper medical advice from my physio. The result? I did exactly the same thing 4 weeks ago to my other ankle. Needless to say, the physio wasn’t laughing, but everyone in the office was.

4. What’s the most embarrassing track on your iPod?

Ipod? Does anyone use an Ipod still? I guess this depends on what you’d define as embarrassing – I don’t have anything really incriminating like S-Club 7 or Westlife (talk to Chris Parker on that one), but I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings, so you’ll find that the most played track on my phone is ‘The Shire’ from the Fellowship of the Ring…

5. We’ve noticed you have some interesting ink on your wrists there – what’s the meaning behind them?

I’m surprised they’ve been spotted! They’re very tame compared to some of the other tattooed people in our ranks, but they mean a lot. I have the number ‘TWO’ on my right wrist – I’m a twin and the youngest so he’s got ‘ONE’ on his arm. Then I have a little triangle – the 3 points represent me, my bro and my sister, and the line is our Dad connecting us together. I have a sphynx, which is the letter ‘L’ in hieroglyphics. That’s the first letter of my best mate back home. And finally I have my Dad’s motto in his handwriting – ‘be brave, be yourself and try your best’…it’s served me pretty well so far.

6. Interviews can be a great way to generate original content for our clients. If you could interview anyone, who would it be?

That’s a difficult one. I have semi-regular debates with our Director over Obama, who I’m a big fan of. One of the points I always make is that he’s the only current world leader I could envisage sitting down and having a beer with, so I guess I’d pick Obama if I had the chance. If not, Conor McGregor.

7. When they make a movie telling the Castleford story, who should play you?

My identical twin brother Greg, who is both extremely good-looking and a talented actor.

8. What have you done that you’ve been most proud of since you joined the company?

I’d have to say it would be finding and hiring a really great group of guys and girls in our Primary Sales team. We made a lot of changes to Primary Sales back in November 2015, and its success hinged on the team atmosphere we got going. Needless to say, the guys in there have really flown the flag – it’s a tough gig and they’re doing a great job. I have to give a shout out to Dan Hearty in particular, who’s now leading that team day-to-day.

9. The leadership team at Castleford are very forthcoming with advice and support for each other. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve had from a fellow member of that team?

Where to start? We take it in turns to send a daily email to each other – offering things like top tips, motivational ideas etc. so the amount of advice and support I’ve had has been immense. I’d say the most important bit of advice came early on from my direct manager Rob Cleeve. For some reason, when you start in a job, a lot of people tend to think or feel that they shouldn’t ask too many questions – I certainly did. He made it very clear from the off that that should never be the case, and that it should, in fact be the opposite for anyone who is just starting out. I make a point now to say the same thing to anyone I hire and it always helps to them started on the right track.

10. What’s the best piece of content marketing you’ve seen this year, and why?

There’s been a lot of great stuff this year, but there’s one that stands out for me. I’d be somewhat confident in saying that we’ve all seen Stranger Things by now? Well, we have a fairly significant amount of time to wait until Season 2, but I love the way the guys behind the show are maintaining interest in the series during the interim. In what I’d describe as a form of episodic content, they are releasing little snippets and clues as to what is coming in Season 2 which only leaves your audience even MORE engaged. Maintaining an engaged target audience is so important to successful content marketing, and these guys are doing a great job. The 360 degree virtual reality video was particularly good!

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