General Yearbook Planning

Modified on Wed, 23 Aug 2023 at 04:04 PM

Tip: Please visit our Creative Insights  blog article to have A Step-By-Step Guide for Creating a Memorable Yearbook.

Assemble your team

A yearbook staff may be large or small, but no one person should manage all aspects of the project. Contributions are required from many members of your school community.

Executive Committee members may include:

  • Staff coordinator: At least one representative from the school's faculty, administration or PTA/PTO to approve plans, financial matters and provide final sign-off on your book.
  • Editor(s)-in-Chief: One or two persons in charge of coordinating the entire yearbook process. The Editor-in-Chief manages schedules, assigns pages and staffing.
  • Marketing & Sales Coordinator: Person in charge of the yearbook's financial management, including sales, ordering procedures, and related fundraising activities. This person may manage all lists - in-school distribution by email, names & contacts of people who run the school newsletter, newspaper, website, social media channels, and list of local businesses & service professionals.

The book itself is created by:

  • Content Providers: People who write articles/text for the book. Letters from administration, general activities reports, sports & clubs summaries, year-in-review content, surveys, superlatives, graduation quote collection, and other articles need project managers and authors.
  • Photographers: Teachers, parent volunteers, your school photography company and students may contribute images. 
  • Design team: The people who build the yearbook pages - the graphic design component of the project.
  • Proofreaders: A small team who review every page for typos, inappropriate photos, images of "do not photograph" students, name spellings, missing portraits, and other must-fix issues.

Schedule everything!

The path to a successful yearbook starts with a good schedule. On a dedicated calendar or spreadsheet, work backwards from your end goals. 

  • By what date must your printed yearbook be distributed? (eg. last day of school, 2nd last week before the end of school)
  • When must your completed yearbook be submitted to the printing company to make the distribution deadline?
  • When must your yearbook cover be submitted to your printing company (if your cover is sent on a separate deadline)?
  • When must you provide your yearbook company the final number of books to be printed?

With these four important deadlines set, you can then build a book production schedule so they can be met.

  • First, determine what sections need to go into your book. Use past yearbooks and your current and last year's school calendars to build a list of events & activities.
  • Second, assign content providers and photographers to events that occur at a particular time & place. Set reminders to ensure that they attend the event, get the info & photos needed, and that their work is transmitted to the yearbook design team. Text may be emailed, and photos may be uploaded to dedicated Community Photo Albums without needing to log into Memento Yearbook.
  • For general activities or fun pages, set deadlines for contributions. For example, make sure that homeroom teachers are invited to send photos to a Community Photo Album by a particular date, or that students collecting graduate quotes have the text collected and typed up well in advance of the design team's need for the content.
  • If you are running cover design contests, photo contests, fundraising raffles, or other similar activities, add these to the calendar and make sure that the people planning them are given at least a couple of weeks to pull together the materials & distribution lists required.
  • Stagger page/section deadlines, then send these for proofreading. Rather than dump an entire yearbook onto one person for proofreading, send pdf versions of pages to one or more persons to review as they are completed. For instance, send homeroom teachers student portrait pages for name verification as soon as those pages are available. Build fall events pages before the holiday break, and have these completed before the winter term starts. You can mark completed pages as approved and not worry about them again.
  • Set a deadline of at least one week prior to submission to complete all pages in the book. These should be sent for final proofreading and to the school's staff coordinator and/or the principal for final sign-off.

A marketing/fundraising schedule is also required if you need to sell the books or raise money:

  • When is the first all-school public assembly? You can announce yearbook sales periods and drum up interest.
  • Set your sales periods and pre-announce these at least a week in advance.
  • When you know when you will be selling books, create your marketing materials well in advance - posters, flyers, email messages, social media posts, website banners, order forms & receipts. If your yearbook company does not have pre-made materials to share with you, remember you will not only have to create the content, but proofread it and have it approved for distribution by your staff coordinator. Give lots of time on the schedule to prep then distribute marketing info, and stick to your deadlines for sales.
  • Finalize plans for ad sales, including target lists, and placement order. When does the sales campaign start and when is the last day to purchase an ad?
  • Establish firm rules for the handling of money and supervision of ledgers and deposits. 

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