Focus Publications was founded in 1982 with the introduction of The Clare Focus magazine. The objective of the magazine was to provide community information to the people of Clare in South West Suffolk. The magazine was started by Howard Jackson who remains the owner and editor.
The philosophy behind the Focus magazine is to allow it to grow naturally as the demand rises. In the early days the magazine was produced in black and white, with 12 pages of advertising and editorial and a circulation of 800 copies. Today the magazine is produced in full colour, is 80 pages in length and has a circulation of 4,000 copies. This remarkable increase is due to the growing popularity of the magazine which has always prided itself in responding to the changing demands of the community.
The ethos of the magazine is to support the community. This is done by publishing a wide variety
of community features as well as News topics and What’s On items. Contributions from the
community are also welcomed. We print a regular What’s On section as well as a comprehensive section about local clubs and societies. Unlike many parish magazines we also have a wide range of interest stories that appeal to the wider audience and many of these are commissioned from local writers and designers.
The magazine is solely funded by advertising. There are no subsidies or grants and many of the workers give up their time for free.
The magazine is published once a quarter. The layout and presentation of the magazine is performed using a Windows PC running desktop publication software. PDF masters are sent electronically to the printers who check the quality before preparing printing plates and running the magazine on an offset litho 4 colour printing machine.
Once the magazine has been received a dedicated group of local people act to deliver the magazine door-to-door to many of the surrounding villages. The circulation is designed to fit between the towns of Haverhill in the West and Sudbury in the East.
The Focus is always keen to introduce new ideas and we have invested in a wide range of software and office equipment to ensure the magazine is published to a very high standard. Two years ago we introduced the use of 2D bar codes to aid the interaction of the magazine and this year we have updated our website and introduced a Mobile Phone App version of the magazine called Focus_Connect. Future projects include the use of a separate supplement for special interest topics and the development of a number of spin-off publications.
The Focus is a true community magazine. We respond to the changing face of the community and listen to the likes and dislikes of our readers. We are supported by a dedicated team of local people who help make the whole magazine a success. This team has been steadily growing over the years as the magazine has grown and the magazine could not survive without their enthusiastic support.
We hope you enjoy your Focus Magazine (now called Focus Connect) and will continue to support it in the years to come.