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One for the Books: Tips for Developing a School Yearbook Program

Yearbook Program

We all remember the excitement at the end of the school year: class parties, no more tests, and receiving your yearbook. It was exciting to comb through each page to check out the club pictures, candid photos, and everyone’s portrait. And, of course, it was always a mad dash to pass around your yearbook to make sure you got all the messages and signatures you wanted.

Now, years later, we can still feel that same excitement when we dust off our yearbooks and take a walk down memory lane. We’re sure to have a good laugh at the fashion and pop culture while also enjoying fond memories of friends, clubs, sports, and the teachers who left a lasting impression.

If you’re looking to give your students this same experience, starting a yearbook program at your school is a fantastic idea. Not only does a yearbook help capture memories and provide nostalgia years later, but it also teaches valuable life skills to the students who work on it.

Before you create a yearbook program from scratch, we have some tips and tricks to help you get started and build a foundation for success.

Recruit Members

Whether you call it a program, club, or committee, you’ll need at least one school staff member to serve as the advisor. Their first step is to recruit students to fill roles, such as writers, editors, photographers, designers, marketers, and treasurers. It may be challenging at first to recruit the necessary number of students, but once you have a few enthusiastic members, encourage them to reach out to their friends about joining.

Get Organized

Once you have a group of students with assigned jobs, you’ll want to set clear expectations for what tasks are required of each role. From there, come up with an action plan that includes tangible deadlines, milestones, and to-do lists. This will help keep everyone on track and working toward the same goals. Consider using an easy, online method to organize and document progress, such as Google Docs or Sheets, Trello, or Evernote.

Find a Photography Partner

You’ll need a photographer partner that shares your vision. Feed will capture your student portraits and class photos as unique as your school. At Freed, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Our creative photographers capture each individual student’s essence, and we would be happy to discuss how we can help enhance your yearbook.

Freed will photograph portraits, student clubs, groups, classes, and your most important school events, which can all go into creating a memorable yearbook.

Hold Meetings

Don’t wait until the end of the school year to put the yearbook together. This should be an ongoing effort throughout the school year where students are laying out pages as events occur, and pictures are taken. This is also a good way to see if your original budget will be adequate for the number of pages you’ll be creating.

Yearbooks as a Fundraiser

The number of pages and quantity of books sold will determine the cost of your yearbook. Once you establish the book size and have a price estimate, you will be able to determine the selling price, typically, the school will sell the books with a profit. Why not earn money on this fun project!

Additionally, make sure you know how much money you’ll need to create the yearbook. A good first step is to come up with an estimate of the number of pages you’ll want to include. You can base this off the number of students and staff members, extracurricular activities, sports, and any other sections you might want to include (candids, current events, student quotes, etc.).

Promote and Advertise

Freed has an online option for selling yearbooks, which is free to schools!  Including, no transaction or credit card fees.

It’s helpful to engage teachers and other student organizations to help in marketing the yearbook. For example, you could ask the media club to highlight how to buy a yearbook on the morning announcements. You can also make sure teachers are mentioning the yearbook to their classes throughout the day.

START SELLING in the early Spring! We invite you to get in touch today.