Producing a yearbook is the largest group project in the school and it often seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. This is especially true for the yearbook staff. Everyone has one goal in mind and that is to get the book finished.
But that process can be tedious with many bumps along the way. While finishing is an important goal and is an accomplishment that everyone will be cheering about, don’t forget the smaller milestones along the way.
Attached are ideas to put some fun into your yearbook production cycle. Keep in mind, it is not a list of more things for you as an adviser to do. Assign these tasks to a student or a parent volunteer.
1. Let the students who completed spreads highlight the ladder in a bright color when a page is shipped.
2. When a page is proofed and finaled, black out the highlighted page on the ladder to show progress.
3. Make an announcement on the school’s broadcast system that the yearbook staff completed a deadline and shipped ___ pages to the plant. Include everyone’s name who completed the deadline.
4. Color code your deadlines and on deadline day, have the entire staff wear that deadline’s color.
5. Have the kids sign up to bring in food that is the deadline color and have a mini-party when the pages are complete.
6. Deliver a balloon (that corresponds to the deadline color) to each staff member who met their deadline. It makes them feel special and other students will want to know why they received a balloon.
7. E-mail the parents congratulating them on their student’s work in the yearbook and include a PDF of their completed spread.
8. Send a blanket e-mail to all the yearbook staff parents listing every student who made their deadline (cc: the principal).
9. Create a POPS group (Parents Of Publications Students) and put them in charge of planning celebrations and bringing food for workdays.
10. Each week, month, or deadline, choose an outstanding photo. Print it out (include the photographer’s name) and post it around campus.
11. Choose a staffer of the week, month, or deadline, and broadcast it on morning or afternoon announcements.
12. Make a student the “Director of Fun” or “Events Coordinator” and put them in charge of planning social and fun activities.
13. Have the editors write personal notes to staff members when they do something great.
14. Celebrate birthdays.
15. Plan a year end party or banquet.
16. Give staff members stickers when they complete a task or go above and beyond the call of duty.
17. Share a meal together when a deadline or the entire yearbook is complete.
18. Once a semester, plan an activity away from the yearbook room that is purely for fun (for example go bowling, roller skating, or to a park to play kickball).
19. For each work night, choose a theme and plan activities that reinforce it. For example: A British Invasion theme would include speaking with a British accent, playing Beatles music and serving tea.
20. Attend a school play or sporting event together as a staff. Wear your staff shirts and take lots of pictures and post them on social media.
21. Decorate yearbook staff members’ lockers when they complete their first deadline or a milestone.
22. Make a big deal of your cover proof. Have a cover unveiling ceremony. Get an easel and a drape and make this an unforgettable moment.
23. Find additional ways to make being on the yearbook staff fun and full of moments that will be remembered for a lifetime. Publicize these moments – they will attract students to your journalism program.