Photo by: Paula Iwaoka

February 25, 2010 / Staff Management

Five essential tips for meeting a yearbook deadline

Written by Alex Blackwell

Final deadlines are looming for most spring delivery yearbooks. This is the time of year when pages have to be completed and submitted on time to ensure your yearbook is delivered when expected.

Meeting a deadline doesn’t have to be a hair-puller though. All it takes is some diet cola, plenty of pizza and the following five essential tips:

    1. Be serious about deadlines. Make your yearbook deadlines a priority. Remember, as a publisher we can’t print what we don’t have; so make the commitment to submit your best, fully-proofed work. Missing deadlines, especially the final deadline, may only lead to more frustration.
    2. Post your deadlines for all to see. Write down approaching deadlines so every staff member is aware of the upcoming date(s). Posted deadlines serve as daily reminder towards meeting a common goal. A sense of teamwork develops when the entire staff understands this goal.
    3. Build in some breathing room. It’s smart to build in a cushion for your deadline. Survey the complete scope of the deadline, say 60 pages for example, and then break these pages into manageable weekly chunks.You may need to complete 10 pages over the next six weeks to meet the final deadline date. However, to be certain the deadline is met; build a plan to get 15 pages completed over the same number of weeks. If you finish early, great! This will give you more time for proof-reading and perhaps an early submission.
    4. Focus on what’s important. There can be a tendency to spend time doing what’s fun over what’s important. Sure, it’s a blast looking though all of the images, but the more important task is getting the layout designed and the copy written. Spend the majority of your time on these types of activities and then reward yourself with doing what’s more fun.
    5. Know what you want. Producing a yearbook and meeting deadlines can be hard work. When you feel frustrated with getting everything done, take a step back and remember why you are doing this in the first place.You are probably on the yearbook staff because you want to be part of something special. If you were on the staff last year, recall the feeling you had when the yearbooks arrived and you saw your work for the first time. If you are new, remind yourself that you contributing to a once-in-a-lifetime book. Either way, think back to what motivated you to want to be on the staff, and use this same motivation to help you across the finishing line. The good news is you are almost there.
Alex Blackwell

Alex Blackwell has built his career around providing customers with helpful solutions, and is currently Walsworth's Vice President of Marketing and Communications, overseeing all marketing. He began his career as a teacher and yearbook adviser in his home state of Virginia, before joining Walsworth as a sales rep.