No one wants a year as difficult as this one again. Tackle part of the challenge by recruiting new students for the journalism program and the yearbook staff.
Whether you’re done with the yearbook or still plugging away, take some time to focus on recruitment. A little effort now will make a big impact on efficiency, workload and production next year.
With so many students off campus, you may have to be resourceful in your strategies. But the current situation could work to your benefit. In Leander ISD, course selections for next year moved online, allowing for a more interactive approach. Students learn more about an elective or other class by clicking the course link.
Inspired by fellow LISD adviser Jamie Ray, Cedar Park’s Paige Hert made her own recruiting presentation. She focused on perks of journalism, reinforcing the benefits with quotes from publication alumni. “I reached out to former students and asked them questions about the programs and what they're doing now,” Hert said. “It was cool to catch up with them and made my heart happy to hear how successful they are and how much my classes have helped them.” Hert also added the slideshow to her website and shared it with the counselors and the middle school journalism adviser.
Cedar Park’s recruitment presentation features student media alumni sharing what the program meant to them. The testimonials add a personal connection and reinforce the benefits of taking journalism classes.
Another avenue for reaching potential staffers in a pandemic world is via social media. Bellevue East High School’s sneak peek video served as a marketing promotion and an enticing recruitment tool. Cypress Falls High School made graphics they shared on social media, including QR links to the application and a video. The video, available on Twitter and Instagram, showcases how the staff builds yearbook spreads.
Cypress Falls High School has been actively advocating for new staffers via Twitter and Instagram, creating dynamic social media graphics.
If you don’t have time to create materials, use ones we created! We have a 10 Reasons to Join Yearbook video as well as applications, flyers, posters and a recruiting guide.
The resources are also available on StudioBalfour—find the guide and forms (including recommendation forms, in the Balfour Curriculum) under the Education tab and the promotional materials in Yearbook Supplies under the Build A Book tab.
Don’t stress if schedule requests were already due. Everyone who has received a new staffer weeks into the school year knows counselors can make changes, especially in the spring. Right now, take a little time to recruit potential new writers, photographers and designers. You never know who might be a future Editor in Chief.