Amping up your yearbooks sales is easy when you can reach your entire audience in one fell swoop. This is why we like to sell yearbooks at back-to-school nights, during parent-teacher conferences, and, of course, on the morning announcements.
Regardless of how your high school presents the morning announcements, you will be able to take advantage of a captive audience. (This is not as devious as it sounds, so you can stop twirling your mustache.)
Let’s take a look at the basic message structure of a compelling morning announcement and see how we can tailor the content based on the delivery method—and we’ll even leave you with a few example scripts to get you started.
Basic Morning Announcement Structure
All morning announcements should pursue the same basic formula in order to capture attention and give the audience what they need to follow through with a purchase.
- Grab Attention: Start out with a bang and get your audience to notice. It’s hard to stand out in a sea of messages, so you need to be interesting right from the start. It can be as easy as having a different person deliver the message, beginning with a question, or listing off some staggering fact.
- List the Benefits: Your audience needs to remember why they should be interested in purchasing a yearbook. Answer the question of “What’s in it for me?” and you’re on your way. In addition to capturing memories and offering never-before-seen photos and stories, a yearbook will also give them something to sign at the end of the year and will keep a definitive record of what their friends were like in school. Depending on your school’s culture, you might be able to think about other benefits, too.
- Call to Action: At this point of the message, you need to tell your audience exactly what they need to do to purchase a yearbook. Remember to include ordering information and deadlines.
- Callback to the Intro: A good message brings everything full circle. You can answer the question from the intro or mention the same stats in your conclusion. The idea is to close the message and leave the audience with the same urgency and focus they had at the beginning of the announcement.
Adjusting the Formula for Your Format
Schools present morning announcements in many different ways. Some announcements are read by the main office over the PA, some rely on homeroom teachers, and some are full-blown video productions. You can follow the formula listed above for just about every type of announcement, but you’ll probably want to tweak it a little to work best for your school.
Announcements over the PA: These announcements can be treated like a radio spot—but with an extra oomph. You can grab attention by having a yearbook editor read the message instead of the same old adult. Or you could use simple sound effects, create a limerick, or perform a quick skit.
[sound fx: bad clarinet playing: mree-bing-squeak!]
“Okay, well, that sounded terrible. You know what doesn’t sound terrible? Buying a yearbook! Yearbooks capture the heart of everyday life here at [school name] and will give you something to look back on for years to come. Remember to return your order forms to your homeroom teacher by [date] to get your book of memories that’ll last a lifetime. Sounds pretty good, huh?”
[sound fx: beautiful clarinet outro]
Announcements Read Aloud by Teachers: When you have teachers reading the announcements during homeroom, you can’t depend on perfect comedic timing or delivery in every case. So the message has to work no matter who is reading it. The good news is that you can add to the impact by asking teachers to write the ordering information and deadlines on the board.
“Did you know that students who purchase yearbooks are 800% happier than their non-yearbook-toting counterparts? Unverified…but true! The [year] yearbook contains [#] pages of memories that will make you smile. Order your yearbook before [date] by [method of purchase: online, form, classroom, etc.] and become 800% happier today.”
[teacher writes ordering information on whiteboard.]
Written Announcements: Some schools forego the traditional morning announcements and depend on website postings or scrolling messages on monitors throughout the school. The tough part here is that you are depending on your audience to do the heavy lifting and actually read the announcement. You need to be short and succinct so you can combine the message components into a few quick statements.
“ZOMBIES ATTACK! Before you lose your brains, swing by room [#] to purchase your yearbook. Trust us, you’ll want a record of life in the year 2016 BZ (before zombies).”
Video Announcements: Yearbook committees whose schools have TV stations are extremely lucky. They have the opportunity to create a quick commercial for their yearbook. Prerecorded messages grab more attention than those that are just being read by the anchors. Anyone on your committee can create a dynamic commercial with their phone, laptop, and a little patience. Give it a shot (pardon the pun).
[Show each student speaking to the camera.]
Student 1: “Will you sign my yearbook?”
Student 2: “Will you sign my yearbook?”
Student 3: “Will you sign my yearbook?”
Student 4: “Will you sign my…potato?”
Voiceover: “Don’t be this kid. Swing by the school office by [date] to order your [year] yearbook.”
[Show Student 4 tossing their potato aside & walking into the school office.]
Student 4: “You’re right. Yearbooks are way better than potatoes. Order yours today!”
Make Morning Announcements Work for Your School
Whatever the format, morning announcements have a chance to shift your students’ attention towards yearbooks—before every other subject gets crammed into their brains throughout the day. Take advantage of this medium and adjust it for your school’s format. Have some fun with it and see your yearbook sales soar.