June 17, 2009 / Idea File Supplement

Five Myths of Summer/Fall Yearbook Delivery

Written by Marketing Staff

1. Distribution is too difficult.

Advisers wary of summer/fall delivery have two major concerns with distribution: that students will not return in the summer to get their book, and that yearbooks will need to be mailed. First, touting the excellence of the yearbook at sale time, and then producing a top-quality book, will entice students to come to a distribution party or pick it up at registration. Advisers say that building a great reputation for the yearbook will increase sales and student pick-up. Second, summer/fall delivery books can be delivered in school like a spring delivery book. Advisers of summer/fall delivery books say parents of the previous graduating class can be notified by phone, postcard or email that the books are available. They recommend asking the front office for help in mailing books to some seniors and students who have moved, or make sure the staff has addresses, especially of seniors, which they can get from the registrar.

2. The yearbook staff will not work in the summer.

Students who will not work in the summer usually are the students who are not self-motivating during the school year. Some advisers provide incentive by making their summer work part of their grade.

3. It is easier to do a supplement.

There is little difference between doing a signature and a 16-page supplement. Also with a supplement, you will have two distributions. Advisers say that while many students will get their yearbook, few will remember to pick up the supplement.

4. Students think autographs are more important than complete coverage.

Do a yearbook survey every year to keep on top of reader opinions. Ask students if they want complete coverage of the year, from the first week of school to prom and graduation. Ask them about autographs. Find out whether students would rather get the book at fall registration, or at a distribution event where they can get autographs. In today’s world of electronic media, advisers say autographs are not as important as they once were.

5. I cannot change my school culture.

Anything can be changed with enough good reasons. If complete coverage is a goal, then summer/fall delivery is essential. Use the survey mentioned above to find out if students support it. Take the results and your editors to discuss it with the administration. Point out the positive aspects of later delivery, as stated by summer/fall delivery school advisers across the country – students working in yearbook class all year, complete coverage of the year, no supplement and distribution different but as easy as in the spring.

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Marketing Staff

Marketing Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.