From Scott Geesey, CJE

The Online Yearbook Information Center

from Jostens Yearbooks of central and northern Pennsylvania

"You do matter, we are interested in you, and we're going to tell your story."

Last updated June 2, 2020

Check out all of my exclusive online instructional videos by clicking on the link in the left column below. I've compiled a long list of videos to tackle all of the top subjects in yearbooking - writing, photography, design, organization, journalism, promotion, book and ad sales and more. Just turn on your speakers and I'll do the teaching, with nearly all videos under 15 minutes each.

SCOTT'S SUMMER UPDATE: Looking Ahead to A Challenging Year 

Hello! As I write this in early June, I think we're all thankful to have made it to the end of the school year and certainly the most historic spring ever.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. Recently I've referred to them as the Cheated Class of 2020 because at most schools they missed out on a traditional graduation ceremony, a traditional Prom and other senior activities.

But they are also now the most historic graduating class EVER. Folks will always remember 2020 and when a grad refers to themselves as being from the Class of 2020, others will immediately acknowledge what they went through. What other class can say that?

We at Jostens busted our tails and overcame a number of obstacles this spring to print and deliver books and options ordered by students. It was far from perfect and we hit some snags along the way but considering this insane spring it was quite an accomplishment. 

And here's a salute to our amazing Clarksville superfacility and all they had to deal with: daily health checks, a slightly smaller workforce for safety despite an increase in work, distancing and all the rest. Whenever they finally finish their spring book work this summer they are owed a debt of gratitude. But the rest will be brief because they will then immediately transition to our fall yearbook work. #busiestsummerever.

Check out my Yearbooking Report podcast series in the right column here, with a special June episode looking ahead to the new school year, the challenges we'll be facing and how storytelling could be crucial to your 2021 success.        

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If you've missed some of my past home page stories from 2019-2020, they are archived for you to check out anytime. Click Here to see the rundown.

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Some predictions for an unpredictable future... 

Here's a hope for a fun and restful summer break. It is certainly a summer like no other: distancing, wearing masks, extra cleanliness, stay away from crowds, etc. We'll "watch the numbers" as parts of the country slowly try to return to normal.

But I'll be honest - I'm concerned about the upcoming new school year. Unless a miracle occurs which is unlikely, we won't have a new vaccine or definite treatment for this @#%& virus by late August. Will I be referring to next year as the Even More Cheated Class of 2021?

So let's take some rather bold predictions for school, yearbook and otherwise for the coming year...

NOT A SMOOTH OPENING: Again, unless some miracle vaccine is approved, hundreds of millions of doses are created, and hundreds of millions of people are vaccinated, and all of this by mid August, we won't have a normal opening for the new school year this fall.

That means one of two scenarios: it's back to online learning again for nearly everyone, or these ideas of a "staggered" schedule where some students will come to school on certain days of the week while others stay home with online lessons, and then vice versa on the other days. Think fewer students, more distancing, wearing masks, etc.

We might as well get used to it now and make plans to deal with it. As for yearbook advisers and staffs, make whatever plans you can on your 2021 effort before the school year begins via Facetime, Zoom, or other means. Get everyone organized right away. And then keep those links active because you may need them when school officially "starts."   

TELL STORIES OF PEOPLE: I'll be urging staffs all year about a change to your yearbooking. Instead of the usual concentrating on events and groups/teams/clubs, it needs to become more about stories of individuals, the people of our school.

An example: as I write this we have no idea about fall sports. They could be canceled again like spring sports were handled, especially if online learning is the norm. But fall athletes still have stories to tell: prepping for the season, their frustrations, their future goals, and if games ARE played stories about their remembrances.

For my Jostens advisers I'll be sharing a simple one page plan on how to handle this. While it will entail a little more work, that work is easy. Follow the plan and you'll have another great book for 2021 that everyone will anticipate.

USE NEW YEARBOOK+ FEATURE: For Jostens schools, while our new Layout Pro page creation tool will get a lot of attention in the coming weeks and months, it will be our new Yearbook+ digital tool that could really make an impact across your entire school, in or out of the building.

With Yearbook+ EVERY student in your school will have the chance to tell their own story in up to 10 pictures they upload during the school year, all moderated for appropriateness. Those images will be "linked" to their portrait photo in the book using any mobile device, and then those pictures can be recalled at any time in the future, along with other features.  

No matter if you're in or out of the building, Yearbook+ will be a great way to keep everyone connected. When this great new feature is ready to launch we'll let you know.

START TAKING PICTURES: There's no time like the present as they say - start some picture taking over the summer. If it's all about telling more stories there should be LOTS of stories happening over the summer. We won't all still be stuck at home.

But if you haven't already, watch the May video episode of the Yearbooking Report. Awesome adviser Matt LaPorte from Las Vegas made an interesting prediction - maybe we'll have more writing in yearbooks this year because of fewer chances to get pictures. Whatever the case, it's all about the stories - tell them any way you can.

BTW, it's summer now, lots of time, right? Listen to the May podcast with Matt who had lots of great ideas and insights on yearbooking, good stuff.

And that can mean storytelling via social media as well. If you haven't already, it's time to establish your yearbook staff's own social media outlet. Advice? In the right column here check the links to watch and listen to the March Yearbooking Report episodes with great social media advice from specialist Jordan Weber.

One hint: create both Facebook and Instagram outlets, both owned by Facebook and easy to push the same content to both platforms. Facebook skews to an older audience while Instagram goes to a younger crowd. Cover them both!

ATTEND SUMMER ONLINE CAMPS: Sadly, most summer yearbook camps have been canceled. But our Jostens CAMs and Ambassadors are coming to the rescue with a separate June and July online yearbook camp, three days each of fun and informative learning with some of the best yearbook folks around.

And this year our annual Jostens Adviser University in mid July will be online as well. For advisers only this event features great information and advice from some of the top folks in yearbooking.   

Ask your Jostens representative for more information on these FREE events. And many reps will also be doing their own online learning to teach Layout Pro, lead virtual cover sessions with Jostens artists and more. This could be our busiest summer ever!

A QUOTE TO REMEMBER: I came across this one recently and it's hard to believe this is from Dr. Seuss. What a amazing guy...

“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

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Stay tuned here for perodic updates over summer break. The storytelling never stops... 

THE YEARBOOKING REPORT

The Yearbooking Report Podcast, May 2020

 

The Yearbooking Report Podcast, June 2020

 

The Yearbooking Report Podcast, July 2020

Click here to listen to the entire podcast series via Podbean, or listen via Apple, Google or Spotify.

The Yearbooking Report Video, May 2020

The Yearbooking Report Video, Season 1 Compilation

The Yearbooking Report Video, Season 2 Compilation

Click here to watch the entire video series

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