This is the time of the school year to push final yearbook sales! It can be an exciting and energizing time. United Yearbook recently interviewed seasoned yearbook adviser, Destinee Garcia, from Baldwin Park High School for advice and tips on yearbook sales. Destinee shared her insights and wisdom on marketing and what has worked in her past experiences, which we hope will help you in your efforts.
It is very important for students of the school to see the staff at work bringing their yearbooks to life.
What is the top priority or focus of your marketing approach?
Marketing begins at the very beginning of the year. Visually, it is very important for students of the school to see the staff at work bringing their yearbooks to life. Students see the posters, the flyers, the yearbook team with cameras— these are all ways to continuously show students the yearbook as it is being built and even after it’s finished. By observing and interacting with the yearbook staff, students will feel seen and comprehend the amount of work that is put into the yearbook. This visual component sets the precedent for students to be prepared and interested in the yearbook.
After seeing the yearbook staff at work all year, the students receive the news of the sales from the school's morning announcements. This is a key marketing approach of which to take full advantage! We have daily announcements about the yearbook and the yearbook distribution. These announcements go over the loudspeaker every morning. Our school also started to include video announcements that correlate with the daily audio announcements. We usually include some photos of the yearbook within the video announcements. By utilizing this, we are keeping the yearbook at the forefront of students’ minds.
How are you able to be a part of those announcements?
At BPHS, teachers submit morning announcements to be approved. Once approved, teachers decide when to have the announcements read. Try something catchy to get attention, such as recording some staff members giving a sales pitch. Remember, daily announcements during your sales push are a must to get students' attention.
Their fervor is infectious and pulls others into their marketing and sales
How do you get your staff to help sell the yearbooks to their peers?
One of the unique ways our yearbook team gets involved in yearbook sales is by creating chalk drawings on the floor. The students know where their friends hang out and put yearbook announcements in those popular areas with chalk. We have a sizeable staff who is enthusiastic about the events they are a part of and the pictures they have taken. Because they are excited, they are eager to share their news and information with their peers. Their fervor is infectious and pulls others into their marketing and sales.
What would you say is an important sales tactic to include students and families from lower socioeconomic backgrounds?
Creating a senior payment plan or even a yearbook specific one could be a huge help to many students. We have a senior payment plan that allows students to pay in increments. They can pay for grad nights, their yearbook, and other senior activities all in one package using monthly payments. Also, it is very important to make families aware that yearbook prices will begin to rise as the school year gets closer to the end. If you provide enough advance warning, families will not be surprised by the price increases. They can make plans to purchase the yearbook when it is at its lowest price or at least on the lower end of the scale.
Lean on your staff members and you will draw more and more students to the yearbook
What would you say is the main reason students should buy the yearbook, and what is the main piece of advice you would give to other advisers?
The yearbook is a time capsule. It encompasses their high school years, events, and the moments that may be forgotten if not for the yearbook.
Destinee’s main piece of advice is to be open to suggestions from others and listen to your staff because your students know their peers very well and know what will work for them.
The yearbook is an integral part of student life. Students need to be shown the yearbook in its process of development so they understand how integral the book is to their school experience. Therefore, lean on your staff members and you will draw more and more students to the yearbook.
Contributor: Destinee Garcia is on her second year of being the co-advisor for Baldwin Park High School as well as her second year of being an Education Specialist. She received her bachelors at Cal State Long Beach and is finishing up her credential at Cal State Fullerton. During her free time, she coaches her 5 year old daughters' softball and soccer team.
Contributor: Jessica Carrera, Associate Editor at TSE Worldwide Press, holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Biola University. She aspires to touch the lives of others through her words.
Editor: Donna Ladner obtained a B.A. in Education and a minor in English from California Baptist University, and a M.S. in ESL from USC, Los Angeles. After she married Daniel, their family moved to Indonesia with a non-profit organization and lived cross-culturally for 15 years before returning to the U.S in 2012. Donna has been working as an editor and proofreader for TSE Worldwide Press and its subsidiary, United Yearbook since 2015.