The success of a yearbook is dependent on the participation of four core groups, the staff, the teachers, the parents and yes, the students. A lack of participation from any one group can be detrimental to the yearbook project. You will need to stimulate the right attitude among the different groups, but the one that can be your most effective secret weapon are the students themselves.
If you have a body of students eagerly anticipating getting their pictures in the yearbook, more than half your battle would be won. Here are a few tips on how to motivate the school body to get involved in the year book. The focus here is mainly on the kids, but you can use the same for staff.
- Reach out to the students for ideas.
Some coordinators may still be making the mistake of thinking of the students as the least important group to motivate and get riled up about the yearbook. If kids do not want to be in a yearbook they will sulk and whine and moan until they wear down the parents or do anything in their powers to opt out of the picture taking. The other thing is that even if they are forced into it, the yearbook will be of no significance to them. They will not be interested in the memories it holds. Yearbooks are about the story of the student body so you must work with them.
If children are not interested in preserving the memories of their school years, the yearbook is as good as dead. Think about the possible challenges a child faces at school, bullying, lack of self-confidence and feeling that they do not take great pictures. Do not dismiss these facts.
Try instead to come up with great ideas for the yearbook that would give the child an alternative point of focus. They are often the best ones to source such ideas from, so use your bulletin board and other means of communication to announce that you are seeking cool innovative ideas for the yearbook.
- Provide a Safe Medium for Kids to Share Ideas
Protect kids from being bullied, or having their ideas scoffed at by their peers. Allow them to write down their ideas and place them in a drop box with their names attached (if they feel like it).
- Come up with some stimulating ideas of your own
Look at what other schools are doing and see if there are any ideas that could stimulate interest among your own school population. These could help to get the creative juices of others flowing, and before you know it you’ll be flooded with ideas.
- Start your campaign early
Student orientation, PTA and other school related meetings are great avenues to kick start your yearbook campaign. Present it as one of the schools biggest highlights, and even use PowerPoint presentations to show off the best parts of past yearbooks.
This is a great way to let your presence be felt from early instead of just popping up out of the blue half way through the school year. Students must feel a strong sense of affinity to the yearbook or you’ll be stuck with hundreds of unsold copies.