Before investing time in advertising and fundraising activities, be sure to consult with your school's administration, PTA/PTO and/or governing board to know what is allowable. You may need permission to represent your school when approaching businesses and service professionals, and there may be rules regarding solicitation and advertising at your school.
Consult with the previous year's yearbook coordinator and any other people who engage in fundraising at your school. They will be able to offer tips and lists of potential targets. Be sure that you aren't overstepping boundaries - for instance, you may need to coordinate with other fundraising committees to make a single approach to local businesses (to avoid annoying them with multiple separate requests), or there may be a do-not-approach or a preferred company list that needs to be respected.
You may wish to create an advertising package bundle with other fundraising initiatives in your school: offer space in the yearbook, sponsorship of the yearbook in general (to offset costs or purchase books for students who can't afford them), the school website, the school newsletter, participation in a raffle, sponsorship of an event, etc.
Community advertising & sponsorship
Local businesses & service professionals may be invited to buy ad space in your yearbook. They may wish to include pre-formatted ads (in jpg format), or provide you with text and a logo, or simply write a congratulations note to the graduating class. Before approaching companies, be sure to have all information available.
- What size ads are you offering?
- Where are the ads being placed?
- What does the company need to provide to you: a fully-formatted jpg ad, or a logo, photo and/or text.
- What is the price for the ads?
- Does the company get sign-off on a proof document before the yearbook is printed?
Create a presentation package:
- Letter of introduction or flyer;
- A rate sheet, showing the exact size and price of ads in the yearbook;
- An order form including the business name, address, person responsible for placing the ad, the ordered item, payment type, and the date the order was received;
- A receipt including the business name, the ordered item, payment type, payment reception date, and information on expectations as to how to submit the ad content as well as the proofing process.
You can choose to approach local businesses in person, by email, or by phone. Don't forget that parents at the school own or work for businesses that may want to support the school, so be sure that you send info to your wider school community letting them know the opportunity exists.
Create a list of businesses to approach. These may include shops near your school, service providers such as real estate agents, lawyers, medical offices, accountants, senior photography companies, local social clubs, restaurants, and school vendors.
Many yearbooks include a special dedication section at the back of the book - usually focused on the graduating class. Parents and grandparents may purchase senior ad, which includes one or more photos of the graduate and a dedication message. Before offering this item to your school community, think about the page formatting. Will you limit the senior ads to a single size (eg: only sell 1/4 pages) or will you offer a variety of sizes (1/8, 1/4, 1/2 of full page)?
Parents may be approached more casually than local businesses, but you will still need to prepare an order form and a receipt as presented above.
Memento Yearbook will soon include an online store feature where you can purchase ads, which can be turned on at the discretion of your yearbook company. This will include online payments and the ability for your customers to send you graphics and text. Details coming soon.
To determine the pricing for your ad, first decide the number of pages the maximum number of pages (or increments) you can add to your book.
Your book price may increase as you increase the number of pages in it. Reserve a certain number of pages for advertising, and decide if you can add more pages if your campaign gets better-than-expected results.
Determine the cost per page of the book - take the full price of your yearbook printing order and divide it by the number of pages in the book.
Next, add a markup for ad pages, usually set somewhere between two to three times the per page price. For example:
|Total printing costs||$3575 (A)|
|Total number of pages||80 (B)|
|Price per page||$44.69 (C = A ÷ B)|
|AD RATES (rounded)||x2 markup (C x 2)||x2.5 markup (C x 2.5)||x3 markup (C x 3)|
Using this information, decide what rate you would like to use. You may wish to charge a supplement for formatting community ads (versus receiving them as preformatted jpgs), or add an additional markup on smaller ads to encourage larger ad sales.
Create a spreadsheet or form to show the maximum available spots for ads. If you plan to offer various size ads, create a grid to organize placement. For instance, a single page can accommodate 8 - 1/8th pages ads, or 2 - 1/8th, 1 - 1/4 and 1 - 1/2 page. You'll need to track what you are selling to fill pages properly and not oversell. For example:
Provide your potential customers with exact dimensions for their ads. To calculate these, be sure to deduct page margins and inset between ads - don't simply divide your page size in 8, or you'll get content that is too big to fit on the page comfortably.
For example, if your finished page is 8.5 x 11", you'll probably want to keep a 1/2" of margin around the edge of the page. This reduces your available printable space to 7.5 x 10". An 1/8th of a page before adding inset is 3.75" wide by 2.5" tall. You may want to remove an extra 1/8" from that number to provide a little spacing between the ads - 3.625 x 2.375" would be your final dimensions for 1/8th of a page.