A day in the life: digital property writer Chloe Shakesby

chloe shakesby

Chloe Shakesby is our digital property writer, working across the group to publish general homes and housing stories as well as profiles to spotlight individual properties on the market.

She talks about the pleasure she gets from working with the digital team to grow online engagement across our websites. 

What are the main responsibilities in your role?

I produce content about property and the housing market in general to appear across our portfolio of websites. I also hone in on interesting properties being advertised to write an individual profile.

It may be that an historical figure lived there, or the building was originally used as something else. For example, we profiled a property which was the school where the founder of WH Smiths was a pupil. 

There was also an Isle of Man mansion that had an interesting story. I have also featured a cottage which used to be a Victorian coach house and barn conversions with fascinating pasts.

It is interesting to dig into the history of the local area, which helps to expand people’s knowledge of the place where they live. I work through a rota of 39 websites across the group, covering each local area as we go.

I enjoy finding out about the interesting places where our company operates. There is always something new to share with our audience, with lots of different types of properties and fascinating histories and local landmarks to feature out there.

When did you join the company?

I joined in June 2022. I am now based in Somerset but I grew up in Nottinghamshire and started out in journalism by doing work experience at my local paper in Newark.

I went to the University of Gloucestershire and did a degree in journalism, before working as a social media intern for the university communications team. I have worked for a women’s magazine, then online business title Bdaily and a news agency before I joined the company.

What is the appeal of working for our company?

I had done some property writing in my previous roles which I had enjoyed. I like the hyper local aspect of my role for Tindle.

I like the fact that our titles are for very specific community audiences, where local journalism is taken seriously. I love the local aspect of it.

How important is localness to your role in the company?

Our teams work in some beautiful places. Many of the properties we feature have stunning views or amazing locations.

It seems to be the norm for many people living in areas we cover to be in fantastic coastal areas or in the middle of hills all around. Our company operates in some gorgeous places, which gives me great material for my role.

What is a typical day in your role like?

I look at the daily engagement levels for the websites to see which stories are performing well and any trends around user behaviour. There are some areas like Tenby in Wales where property stories do very well and can be a big driver for traffic, with people responding to the stories we create.

There are three of us in the core digital team so I work alongside Group Digital Editor Emily Woolfe and Deputy Group Digital Editor Jon Gripton. We have regular meetings to plan and discuss progress. We are a close knit team. 

We share the same goal which is to grow the audience through content which is hyper local. I contact the news title editors to liaise on the content being planned to understand the impact on the property market locally. I also work with the commercial teams closely.

I am working on a number of projects such as a group wide survey on people’s changing attitudes towards property which will help us understand our audience, both for editorial decisions and commercial opportunities. It is cool to be able to write about property so I am looking at ways of increasing content.

I get information on individual properties and turn these into articles. It could be a home with a Royal connection or one that used to be a chapel or bank. Each home has a unique story so I ensure these are explained in compelling content.

What is the culture like, working for Tindle?

I like the engagement with our readers. We regularly get comments and responses which show how the content connects with local people.

I get to see what people think about our news, which informs how we move forward. In my previous roles there was not the same connection or local identity in the feedback and responses from people.

The team are great with me and very supportive, always giving me time. I like the history of the company and its plans.

What are your aims for your role?

I want to help grow audience engagement and get people responding to our stories. There is a lot of potential for us to grow online as more people go digital for their news and information.

It is great to see new titles like Woking News & Mail come on board and get new websites. It is really exciting to be in this new arena for the company so there is definitely scope to grow.

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