If you’re frustrated by the amount of time your yearbook recruitment process takes each year, it might be time to rethink your approach.
No, we’re not talking about whether you should still be proving the benefits of joining the yearbook committee or whether you should be using a yearbook staff application; we’re talking about where you focus your recruitment efforts in the first place.
Given all the other clubs, sports, and activities students participate in, assembling your dream team might seem like … well … a dream. But, if you get strategic about your yearbook recruitment process, you’ll have a better shot at pulling it off.
Where to Focus Your Yearbook Recruitment Efforts.
- Social media – They’re going to be on it 24/7, anyway, so why not reach out to students through what they love most: the Internet. Create a committee-recruiting page on Facebook, follow students on Twitter, and post pictures of past yearbooks on Instagram. You can even have some fun teachers help you create a quirky Vine video to spark interest. The more you are out there, the more buzz you’ll create throughout the school.
- Posters – Even with the rise of social media, nothing gets students’ attention more than a good-old-fashioned poster on the school walls. Create bright, colorful, straight-to-the-point posters and plaster them all over school. Write a call-to-action for the students, and encourage them to bring their creativity and leadership to the yearbook committee.
- Host an open house – Host an open house in the yearbook room. Put out past yearbooks, candid photos, and play graduation videos – getting people in the nostalgic mood. Once you have everyone there, you can talk more about the goals of yearbook and how valuable an experience it is to work on it. And don’t forget to advertise that there will be refreshments – people will do most anything for free food!
- Ask the staff – Email teachers and staff with some specific qualities you are looking for. Ask for recommendations of students they think would be good candidates for the committee. It’s always helpful to have a team keeping an eye out!
- Target promising prospects – Flattery is everything, so find those students that are excelling in English, photography, graphic design, and more. Speak to each student personally, and explain that you have been impressed with his or her skills, and think they would make a great addition to the yearbook committee.
- Hold nominations – Alternatively, ask the student body to make anonymous nominations for those peers that have hidden talents. This way, students won’t have to be shy about coming forward themselves. They will be called upon by popular demand.
- Make presentations – Find other clubs or groups that possess skills essential for the yearbook – such as FBLA, spirit squad, newspaper staff, and art club. Ask to make a presentation at the next club meeting, and plead your case for why they should join the yearbook committee.
- Focus on Freshmen – Students new to high school are looking to find their footing in a new building, and a place they can call their own. So, what better way than joining what reflects the school most – the yearbook? Pitch to freshman classes and tell them all of the benefits to joining yearbook – they will meet new people, possess a voice in the school, and have a creative outlet.
- But don’t let Seniors slip away – A major portion of every yearbook is dedicated to seniors. So, pitch to every senior class that the yearbook is a reflection of them, and that their voice should be heard. If that doesn’t work, remind them that colleges love to see extracurricular activities on an application.
- Expand on the typical committee – A yearbook committee doesn’t have to be made up of student volunteers. Encourage students to do independent study in journalism, photography, graphic design, etc., and have yearbook be their credit for the course. Also, recruit staff members and teachers to the committee, and seek parent volunteers.
- Sweeten the deal – Bring out the swag bags! Hand out personalized school-themed tokens, such as pens, buttons, notebooks, and canvas bags. Get people excited about the school, and encourage them to be a part of it through yearbook.
- Don’t go it alone – Find at least one person that you think would be good at recruiting people. This could be “Miss School Spirit” or the next in line for Editor-in-Chief. Whoever it is, everything is better in pairs – so grab the right person and get them on your team.
While your yearbook recruitment efforts might still take some time, you’ll likely cut down the number of hours you spending putting together your yearbook team if you know where to focus your efforts. And you’ll likely end up with a better group of students, too.