April 25, 2012 / Yearbook Zen

The effortless yearbook distribution day

Written by Kris Mateski, CJE

If you are a spring-delivery customer, a quick glance at the calendar might bring up two different reactions.

One reaction could be, “Oh good. The yearbooks will be here soon.” While another reaction might be something like, “Oh no. The yearbooks will be here soon.” The reason for different reactions: yearbook distribution day.

With a little planning, yearbook distribution day can be more about celebrating the work your staff has done, and less about the hassle of getting the yearbooks distributed. To help you have the reaction that begins with, “Oh good…,” here are seven simple ways to make this year’s distribution day effortless:

  1. Make a list
    Your distribution list is one of the most important items you will need at distribution time. The quality of your distribution will depend on the quality of your list. Start by taking the receipts and compiling the names of every student who has purchased a book. If you sell your book both in school and online, make sure those lists of buyers are combined.
  2. Ask for permission notes
    Students who are picking up books for friends or siblings need to have a signed note granting permission. Make this known when students purchase yearbooks and make announcements closer to distribution time. Have the notes brought to you or your editor before distribution and kept with the distribution list to resolve discrepancies.
  3. yearbookzen copyGather the necessities
    If you plan to pass out books at one time in one place, then reserve the place before the distribution day. The place could be the gym, cafeteria, commons area or a classroom. Make sure you have these items:
    – Tables
    – Chairs
    – Pens
    – Highlighters
    – Tape
    – Sales records/receipts
    – Signs to direct students to the correct lines
    – Carts or dollies to move books
    – Trash cans
    – Change, if you will be selling yearbooks
    – Enough staff members
    – Adult supervisors, such as teachers or parents
  4. Lock them up
    These books cost money to create, and they cannot be left sitting against a wall of the yearbook room when they arrive. Lock them up – in a yearbook room closet or another secure closet or storage area in the building.
  5. Take a moment to enjoy
    When the books are safely stored, find a minute to open a box and look at one. Set a time to look at the yearbook with your staff. Encourage your staff to focus on all the positive aspects of the yearbook and not the mistakes of others. Then, have a ceremonial unveiling of the yearbook with the entire staff. Help them enjoy their successes in this book they have created.
  6. Find reinforcements
    There are some situations in which there may be too much help. Distribution probably is not one of them, especially if there is one big distribution event where everyone is getting their yearbook at once. Staff members will be needed to:
    – Sit at tables and hand out books
    – Keep distribution tables supplied with books
    – Keep the lines moving
    – Clean up
    – Move leftover and unclaimed books back to the closet
  7. Inform students about distribution
    Remind your student body at least three times about picking up their yearbook. They need to know:
    – When and where
    – To bring their receipt
    – To bring photo ID
    – Whether they can buy a book and its cost
    – Whether signing time will be available
    – Whether there will be a signing party, and how much admission is

You and your staff have put in a lot of work to get to this point. Just a little more planning will make your distribution day be an effortless one.

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Kris Mateski, CJE

Kristin Mateski, CJE, is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Walsworth. Her love for marketing and degree from Southern Methodist University led to work at national advertising agencies in Dallas and Kansas City. Her father worked as a pressman, so it was just a matter of time before she returned to the world of print, joining Walsworth in 2009. With her team, Kris helps provide yearbook advisers and their staffs with the tools they need to brainstorm, build, promote and sell their yearbook.