Which months to include?
November cycle - December distribution
- Advantages: Yearbook is distributed before the end of year.
- Disadvantages: A complete schooling year is not complete in one edition. Current end of year results and festivities are ommitted. A little more pressure to meet strict November due dates.
Calendar cycle - February distribution
- Advantages: An entire calendar year is included in one edition.
- Disadvantages: Last year can feel like a long time ago. Yearbooks are more difficult to distribute, especially to those who have left school permanently.
The yearbook team has responsibililty for making the official 'memory book' of your school. Part of this responsibility involves the need to identify what is topically important for all members of the school community. Five key areas of school life should be considered.
- focus on students, what they do in and out of school
- cover lighter current lifestyle topics including issues affecting daily student life
- to increase reader interest, write magazine-style articles, not formal reports
- fous on what happens inside the classroom, not faculty administrative matters
- instead of reviewing the year in report form, consider adopting a a different approach for covering classes: time, keywords, or skills
- highlight the action, competition and emotions - employ many photographs
- include a separate season scoreboard listing detailed scores, and avoid re-hasing this in the copy text
- include all levels and sports - avoid the temptation of biasing 'higher' grades
- dwell on school pride, fans, and success
- include all groups - large, medium and small
- consider music groups, exchange students, debating teams, and the wider school community
- highlight the people, personalities and challenges instead of providing a dry recount of the events
- link similar groups in design spreads, rather than allocating dedicated pages or sections for each
- highlight legacies that departing teachers left
- general-interest profile questions work best for year 12 graduates
- listing year 12 graduate subjects studied has zero interest and value to anyone
Students. Not Shareholders.
A school yearbook tells the story of the schooling year. Coverage should never be geared in the style of a corporate annual report, or never come across as being aimed at pleasing adults and minority stakeholder groups.
Yearbook coverage should satisfy the vast majority of readership audience - the students. While it is necessary to include commentary of administrative matters, the ordinary reader has little interest for dry topics which have little impact on daily school life, the environment and people of the current schooling year. Consider adjusting the location of 'minor' articles such as Treasurers reports, Finance committees, and Alumni towards the back of the yearbook.