Thanks for the idea Copyblogger, check out his Five Things Sesame Street Can Teach A Blogger.
1. Drive Your Book With Data – Every episode of Sesame Street is audience tested – so are most successful TV shows and movies. We have to audience test our yearbook to find out what they liked and didn’t like. This may be journalism, but we should also be learning marketing too. Do more of what they like and see if it raises your sales.
2. Be One of the People in the Neighborhood – Find out who are the big fish in every pond in your school. Who’s the drum major of the band, the basketball team captain, the NHS president. They are the kids who will buy a yearbook. Find out what they want to see in the yearbook. Ask them to help you sell yearbooks in their club or organization for a commission (percent off their yearbook).
3. Make it Fun – Sesame Street teaches the basics of math and reading with lots of fun for little kids. The old days of boring yearbooks with gray pages are over. Yearbooks must be in color and have lots of fun and interesting ideas in them. Strive to make every page of the yearbook as fun as possible.
4. Be Balanced – Sesame Street keeps it all balanced well. Short segments that seem random, but are actually well balanced to keep kids attention. Keep your book balanced between what you must cover and what the students want. Of course you have to have sports in the book, but if athletes aren’t buying the book, should 25 percent of the pages be devoted to them? Don’t just do what you’ve always done. This is not your parent’s yearbook anymore, they didn’t have Facebook to contend with.
5. Repeat, but With Style – Sesame Street knows you must repeat it, so they can learn it. But repetition can be boring. When you settle on a theme, don’t hammer it on every page so it gets boring. Spread it out, reuse theme items enough that they become familiar, but not boring.
There are now less than 10 months until the 2010 yearbooks come out. The sooner you get started, the better. Happy Summer!