February 28, 2024 / Podcasts

That Yearbook Podcast: Building Relationships Is Key to Yearbook Success

Written by Danielle Finch

This episode of “That Yearbook Podcast” guides advisers on cultivating relationships among staff, administration, parents and the community to foster successful publication and program development. 

Relationships Among Staff Are Foundational

Developing strong relationships among the yearbook staff from the beginning of the year is crucial for success. Team-building activities serve an important purpose in allowing staff members to get to know one another and see how personalities mesh early on. Games help break the ice and relieve stress during busy times later in the year. Advisers must also monitor relationships among staff to ensure they remain positive and productive. 

Hosts Mike Taylor, Jim Jordan and Sabrina Schmitz talk about their experiences with building positive staff rapport and provide useful tips and strategies for diversifying your team-building opportunities throughout the year. 

Don’t Forget Your Administrators

There is great importance in cultivating relationships with school administration, teachers and other staff. Providing perks and buy-in to your school leadership shows appreciation and makes others feel invested. Communication is also key – advising teachers of photo dates upfront prevents conflicts. Strong campus relationships make advisers’ jobs easier when seeking approvals or support. 

Cultivating these relationships early on makes it much easier to gain needed support and approvals for potential issues that may arise later in the year. Specifically, Sabrina mentioned situations like seeking help approving a controversial spread, needing backing on an issue or obtaining approval and funding for a yearbook trip. By investing in campus relationships up front, advisers have an easier time addressing challenges that come up throughout the publication cycle.

Parents Are Vital Community Partners

Reaching out to parents through social media, press releases and community involvement keeps them informed and engaged. Social media specifically is an effective way to notify parents about upcoming deadlines like senior ads, inform them when the yearbook will be available and provide details on how parents can obtain copies for their students. By actively participating in these online communities, advisers can keep parents informed while also growing their support.  Parents who understand the yearbook process are more supportive of the finished product. 

Industry Experts Offer Guidance and Support

Yearbook advisers gain wisdom and encouragement from attending camps and conventions where they meet experienced mentors. The yearbook company’s adviser resources and mentor program also connect new and seasoned professionals. Asking questions of knowledgeable industry leaders results in better outcomes than unverified online advice. Attending events will help develop skills through mentorship from industry leaders. Working with your professional community is a must when striving for journalistic excellence. 

Listen to This Podcast Now 

This episode of “That Yearbook Podcast” is a great resource for helping foster positive relationships and valuable support for your yearbook staff. You can watch this podcast on YouTube or listen on any platform that streams podcasts.

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Danielle Finch

Danielle Finch is a former journalism adviser at Smithville High School and now works as a Digital Marketing Specialist for Walsworth. Danielle's passions lie in writing, managing web content and representing the needs of advisers.