You may not know it, but the city of Clearwater has its own magazine that Clearwater residents can get for free. My Clearwater highlights city news, interests and needs, but also covers events, programs and volunteer programs.
“The magazine is produced 100 percent in-house by approximately 11 people,” said Heather Parsons, Senior Public Information Coordinator at the City of Clearwater Public Communications Department.
“Five or six employees from the Public Communications Department usually write the articles, but sometimes people from other departments – like Parks & Rec – also contribute. Other staffmembers of the Public Communications Department do graphic design, editing and photography.
“We have a brainstorming meeting about what ideas would make great articles – topics of interest, cover ideas and feature stories – and come up with an editorial plan.”
All of the articles and layouts are proofed before printing and approved by Joelle Castelli, the Public Communications Director.
“We try to get photos of real residents and things happening in our city, but do use a few stock images such as a boy kicking a soccer ball, for example. We primarily want the images to reflect what is happening in Clearwater.
“The magazine is put out three times a year because of seasonal programming changes. Children’s camps are held in the fall, during Spring Break and summer.
“The magazine takes a lot to put together and we have to make sure we have the all the resources to produce it,” said Parsons. “The magazine takes about three months from start to finish. The library and parks departments gather information about programming, which takes about a month. From there, articles are written, photography taken and the layout is done. It goes through four proofs, maybe more depending on the section, before going to print.
The current fall issue also contains COVID-19 resources for residents.
Printing of My Clearwater is through a contract with a local printing company and costs $31,700 per year. 16,000 copies are printed per run.
Six to seven thousand copies are mailed and the rest are distributed at recreation centers, library branches and city buildings such as Municipal Services, City Hall and other public areas.
The magazine is sent to everyone that purchases a rec center card or play pass, all advisory board members, Clearwater neighborhood lists and various other mailing lists, downtown retailers, Aging Well Center patrons and any additional requestors.
If you are a Clearwater resident, get your free subscription to My Clearwater, by calling 727-562-4708.
Feature image by Heather Parsons, Senior Public Information Coordinator, City of Clearwater Public Communications Department