Volunteered or volunTOLD? However you ended up as the yearbook coordinator, you’ll walk away with four strategies to help you start and finish your yearbook! But first, pin, save, or bookmark the essential yearbook timeline. Are you taking over a yearbook class? Check out our six weeks of lessons to start the year and our free Google Drive templates.
The Five Ws are as relevant to yearbook coordinators as they are to writers:
- What am I doing?
- Who is going to help me?
- When will I be finished?
- Where am I going to get all the photos?
- Why did I ever agree to do it?
Strategy 1: Plan With Success in Sight
Yearbook coordinator, meet the ladder; ladder, meet the yearbook coordinator. Your yearbook ladder is your plan. Use it to determine how many pages you will put in the yearbook and what will go on each.
Four veteran yearbook advisers shared theirs with you. You can make a copy to edit and adapt them to your school community’s needs. Remember, there is no “one way” or “right way” to do this.
You’ll know you successfully managed your program when you’ve completed these spreads. (Better yet, since it’s digital, you can add, subtract, and move spreads as needed.)
Strategy 2: Phone a Friend
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to ask for help. Look at your ladder and see how you can partner with students, parents, and school leadership.
Yearbooking is a contact sport.Tweet
Build a Team
Boosters, parent groups, teachers, and students are all stakeholders in the yearbook creation process. Involving them will make your job easier as the yearbook coordinator. You can crowdsource content through:
- Shareable folders
- Social media
- Targeted email asks (e.g. parents of students who went to camp)
You can also recruit team members to help you build and market the yearbook. With Treering, you can set permissions and assign pages to help delegate your workload. Additionally, parents and students can help gather contact and promote book sales.
Students have a pulse on campus life and are invaluable for determining what content is valuable. Work with them to get photographs from in-school activities and events: labs, presentations, assemblies, and lunch candids.
Partner with parents to get yearbook sales information in PTG/PTO/PTA newsletters and social channels, promote campus organizations, and plan distribution events.
Remember this clip from the Golden Age of TED Talks? To create a movement, you just need one to jump on board. As yearbook coordinator, you’re the lone nut (sorry, not sorry). How will you nurture your first follower?
Check with your yearbook publisher to get access to their training. Treering offers free Yearbook Club webinars throughout the year plus our signature event, TRL: Treering Live during National Yearbook Week.
Connect with School Leadership
From obtaining a student and teacher roster and seeing the master calendar to getting the principal’s message and coordinating picture day, all the proverbial magic happens there. The front office is your go-to resource. Chances are, they will also reach out to answer the inevitable, “Did I buy a yearbook?” question parents will send their way all year. If your front office doesn’t have dashboard access through Treering Yearbooks, consider sending a weekly sales update to help them help you.
Two questions to ask:
- When may I get student and staff rosters?
- Who is the school photographer? (Remember to request your portraits in PSPA format.)
Also, find out who your club and sports leaders are then send an email to introduce yourself and request photos. Ensure your shared photo folders are set up so they can submit photos. Regular reminders—think a day after that tournament down in Simpsonville or after the choir nationals in Chicago—help get those folders filled.
Strategy 3: Build
Remember the tortoise and the hare? Spoiler alert: slow and steady wins. The same is true for your yearbook. We feel like it has to be complete asap as possible, and when you’re setting your own deadlines, proper planning puts you in control.
- Select your theme (or stir up some excitement by letting the school vote with this editable survey)
- Update your rosters in Treering before promoting book sales
- Order your free flyers and start promoting sales
- Upload portraits
- Start building pages as events happen (first day, Halloween, Dot Day, etc.). Trust us, you’ll feel better in the spring if you don’t wait to do it all.
- Send purchase reminders
- Finish up your spring activity spreads
- Download a PDF proof and have teachers approve their class pages to ensure students’ names are correct and no one is missing
- Order your free printed proof to ensure fonts are easy to read and the cover looks good
- Double-check your order list and add homeroom teachers to any student that doesn’t have one listed for easier distribution
- Redeem any free books you earned or use your fundraiser to purchase extra copies
- Hit Print Ready!
Strategy 4: Know It’s OK
It’s OK if everyone is not 100% passionate about what you’re doing.
It’s OK if it’s not perfect.
It’s OK if you had more fun than you thought!
It’s OK to be glad it’s finished.