It's never too early to start looking ahead to next year's effort...
As spring yearbook staffs finish their book work and summer/fall delivery staffs really kick things into gear, early to mid April might seem like a time to take a break.
And in this insane school year who could blame you? But April is a great time to also begin some early preparations for next year. What are some keys to handle early if you can?
DO SOME RECRUITING: Some schools and advisers are able to start choosing their 2022 staffers before the school year ends. Good for you if that's you and NOW is the time to start some recruiting.
First, determine what you want in your new staffers. They don't have to be the "brightest and best" but instead we really need what I call "worker bees" that are eager to find next year's stories and tell them in the yearbook.
I feel for the schools where the adviser is forced to take "all comers" because that usually means kids who sign up for yearbook expecting an easy grade and no work, or kids who have a spot to fill on their schedule and some school official just puts them in yearbook as a dumping ground.
Instead try to impress on both students and administration that yearbook work is forever, that there's lots of passionate work involved, and that work continues all school year long. Hopefully that will bring you determined students willing to make the effort needed.
For Jostens advisers check the YBA Digital Classroom for materials to use as part of your recruting process. Consider asking teachers to offer recommendations on students who could excel as part of your new group.
ATTEND SPRING TRAINING: No, we're not talking major league baseball here. Instead see what students for next year you can gather and then grab your calendar.
Our terrific Jostens CAMs and Ambassadors are doing their helpful and educational Spring Premieres from late April into early June. This is a live one day event spanning four hours of great yearbook instruction and inspiration with the best people in the business.
For Jostens advisers go to www.jostens.com/yearbookevents and look for the link for the spring premiere series. There are six different days for high school groups and even one day especially for middle school groups. Just choose one day for the event from 11 AM to 3 PM Eastern time. Four hours during a school day filled with ideas and some early bonding.
And oh yeah - this is FREE. If you can't do this live during a school day no problem - choose a date and register, then you'll receive the links for the recording and all materials and resources right after the date.
START YOUR 2022 PHOTOGRAPHY EARLY: Don't wait for the fall to start your picture taking for next year. As this school year winds down and if your yearbook photographers can get out, start some creative shutter snapping now.
Of course concentrate on current underclassmen with those photos. Your group could take pictures of particular events or just try for creative and fun images that could be used in many places next year.
HAVE YOUR VETERAN STUDENTS MENTOR NEW MEMBERS: Advisers, you have enough to do. And if your graduating seniors that you trust want a fun project for the final weeks of the year, team them up with new incoming members and show them the ropes.
Getting this from a fellow student might have more impact than coming from an adviser. Expectations, basic responsibilities, and hopefully the FUN of your effort.
HANDLE AD SALES EARLY?: And I'm thinking business ad sales especially. Few schools are able to release students to go out to businesses during the school day to sell ads like the old days.
So consider a business ad sales campaign sometime over the summer when students have loads of free time to handle this. If well organized this should only take a couple of days but that added revenue would be huge for any yearbook staff.
Need materials like a price sheet, yearbook staff letter or more? Again check your YBA Digital Classroom and enter "business ads" in the search bar there. A number of resources will come up for easy use by you and your staff.
NEED HELP?: Just let me know. Setting the table early here in the spring could mean a lot less work and hassle once the new school year begins in August or September. You'll have enough to do at that time anyway.
Remember the old saying? The early bird gets the worm. Try to be that early bird this year.