December 16, 2014 / Fall 2014 / Teaching Moments

Marketing video brings staff together

Written by Teresa Villorente

It was my first year as yearbook adviser. With much anticipation, I could not wait to get started. After more than 20 years of experience in Marketing and Communications, this should be a great adventure!  The opportunity to guide and direct students to be creative, to teach layout, proper use of fonts, and to create a piece of history seemed like a dream come true.

Then school started. Four students were in the yearbook class for the 2014 year – all seniors and none seemed overly thrilled with yearbook. The previous year had been a challenge, and the students were less than thrilled about another yearbook with a new adviser who not only didn’t know the students, but was new to the school and the “way things are done.”

Weeks turned to months. How could I get them excited about yearbook and, in turn, get others excited? Our goals were all the same – to create a quality yearbook that they could be proud of and students would get excited about.

Sales were slow – students seemed doubtful about whether we would have a yearbook. The staff brainstormed and decided to create a marketing video to encourage yearbook sales in their school of about 220 students. Could we really pull it off?

We decided to ask the senior class of 13 students to help us with a Hunger Games parody – a fight to the finish, so to speak, for the last yearbook. Again – there was some skepticism – could we really get all the seniors involved in a fun video to not only push our sales, but to unite them in a fun project?

After weeks of planning, we took a few hours to film the video. All 13 seniors participated and they appeared to have fun. We showcased the video in chapel one Thursday, and introduced the Aurasma app (part of the Walsworth Yearbook 3D platform) and showed how video would be embedded into the yearbook. It created a buzz – not overwhelming at first, but at least students were talking about yearbook. This gave us an opportunity to push sales and get students excited.

As I reflect on last year, the creation of the video was a turning point for several reasons. The staff worked together to plan, implement and market the video to push sales. They were able to say with confidence that this yearbook would be different than any in the past because of the Yearbook 3D technology, and it created momentum to finish strong. There were many challenges, but each “win” gave us the momentum needed to go the next step. I learned that each step forward is just that, a step forward.

As long as we had those little wins along the way, we would not only survive, but excel. I could not be more proud of my four students who worked together, struggled through senioritis and completed the task. We were able to distribute the yearbook, on time, with minor errors, and to me that’s a WIN!

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Teresa Villorente

Teresa Villorente is the yearbook adviser at Alliance Christian Academy in Portsmouth, Va., and the computer teacher to students in grades K5 through high school. Prior to teaching at Alliance Christian, Teresa was in marketing and communications for more than 20 years and in children’s ministry for more than 15 years. She has a passion for ministry to children, and has been actively involved with several organizations addressing the needs of children.