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The Business of Yearbook, Now More Than Ever Scott Geesey Representative, Central & Northern PA Jostens Yearbooks.

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Presentation on theme: "The Business of Yearbook, Now More Than Ever Scott Geesey Representative, Central & Northern PA Jostens Yearbooks."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Business of Yearbook, Now More Than Ever Scott Geesey Representative, Central & Northern PA Jostens Yearbooks

2 Scott’s Story Yearbook representative for 12 years –1999 – the hardest part of the job was… Book creation Book sale – easy part, most students bought one –2011 – the easiest part of the job is… Book creation Book sale – hard part, bad economy, job losses, students want to be “sold”

3 Who’s Struggling with Book Sales? Go around the room quickly and share stories…

4 What do we do????? “Think out of the box…” –Using a cliché at a journalism conference is not a bright move, Scott…

5 What do we do????? “Think out of the box…” –Using a cliché at a journalism conference is not a bright move, Scott… –If what you’re doing isn’t working and you keep doing the same old thing, who’s at fault? The economy? The students? How about… YOU!!!

6 It’s All About the MARKETING and PROMOTION! How do you currently sell your book? Go around the room…

7 The first thing we need to do is recognize the VALUE of the product you’re creating… It’s NOT just a chore!

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9 The next time someone tells you that the yearbook is too expensive or they can’t afford one… REMEMBER THE LIST!!

10 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Rule One: Don’t underprice your book! How-to’s and ideas…

11 Start with a budget… Don’t just “wing it.” Create your own budget, or ask your yearbook representative for one. Don’t paint a “rosy” picture. Estimate high. Always make your goal to make MORE $$ than you’ll need to pay your entire bill, not just break even.

12 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Create a Yearbook Sales Team –Separate group of students whose main job is to market the book, sell ads, do fundraisers –Yearbook Business Manager, adult or responsible student, to lead the effort –Yearbook Adviser is still in charge –Maybe use business students? Get the business teacher and class to handle your marketing and sales as part of a “real world” project each year

13 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Create a Yearbook Sales Team –Sales Team members can work on pages in the yearbook – they do the ad pages! –Create goals for the team and each member –Offer sales incentives to team members for hitting sales goals? Free yearbook? Prizes? Money?

14 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Create a Staggered Book Sale through the school year… –Several book offerings through the year –Plan the entire annual sale in advance –Best price is the first offer… “The regular price for the book at the end of the year will be $60. Our current price of $45 is the best price offered this year.” –Constantly inform everyone during the various sales stages – you’re ALWAYS Promoting!

15 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Use your company’s “pay by mail” program –Parents/students are billed at home –Can pay by check, money order or credit card –Can pay in mail, by phone or online –Money is collected for you and deposited into your yearbook account with your company –Complete sales reports provided to you –A “must have” for yearbook staffs without a sales team –Extra charge for this service?

16 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Online book sales –Rapidly becoming popular –Always on, 24/7 –Can use a credit card –No money handling at school –Extra charge from your yearbook company?

17 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Marketing –Get addresses from students/parents –Don’t bury people in s –Include a link to an online sale Automated Phone Calling System –Get school permission to use –Don’t bury people in phone calls –Keep your message brief and to the point Texting Students?

18 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Social Networking –Facebook, My Space –School-specific channels

19 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! PERSONAL Marketing… –The yearbook should not be a secret… –Show students that they are in the book, how many times they are in the book, and even a page where they are pictured Would you buy an iPod, clothing or ANYTHING without first seeing it????

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22 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Hold a Yearbook Assembly –Hold the assembly early in the school year –Do your book ordering all in one class period –Get students fired up for your book –Ask your yearbook company or company representative to get involved

23 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Who else would be interested in buying your yearbook? –Local doctor’s and dentist’s offices –Other local businesses –Local police department –Local public libraries –Alumni –EBay –“Think out of the box,” who would want one?

24 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! A New Idea – the 12 Month Yearbook Sale –Old way = very limited sale, only in school, maybe two weeks at a time, start in fall, wrap up by December, stop at company’s ordering deadline. –New way = utilize online sales for the entire school year. –Start with summer online sale, best possible price for “early birds.” –Continue in fall and winter with different offers online and in-school. –After your company’s ordering deadline, continue book selling through spring online and in-school. –Will your yearbook company cooperate?

25 You have the VALUE, now make the SALE!! Build your brand… –Long term view –Build your students a great product –In future years, students will expect another great product from your group and won’t hesitate to buy your book

26 What about advertising sales? Business Ads –Usually only done by high schools –More difficult now with school restrictions –But don’t ignore! Local businesses want to support local schools; buying a yearbook ad allows them to do that. –Needs to be well organized –Needs motivated staffers to succeed Perfect for yearbook sales team Incentives??

27 What about advertising sales? Business Ads –Consider an ad sale over the summer when students are more available to travel freely IDEA – Business Ad Packages –How many people actually read ads in the book? –Package: one set price gets a ad in the book, other mentions in school such as on a large banner or advertising magnet, on school website and elsewhere –Give the business more bang for their buck

28 What about advertising sales? Personal ads/PDAs –More popular than in the past –Can be done by ANY school, ANY age group Ads, one liner messages –Parents/relatives want to honor students –Don’t just limit ads to seniors… Personal ads for ANY student Buddy ads – friends buy ads for themselves Sell to booster clubs, sports teams, etc. –What to charge? Business rates vs. Less expensive rates

29 What about fundraisers? Schools are fundraised to death, right? Only use high return fundraisers OR school wide fundraisers –Get the most people involved as possible –Offer: earn a free yearbook plus possible other prizes Consider using fundraiser companies –They succeed when you succeed –They give you extra assistance –They often offer extra prizes for students to earn Consider fresh LOCAL fundraising ideas –Work with local restaurants or businesses

30 Any unique ideas from the group??

31 The bottom lines for yearbook business success… Take an ACTIVE, CONSTANT approach to sales, not a passive approach – don’t wait for sales to come to you because they rarely will. Plan your ENTIRE sales campaign, books and ads, well in advance. Never wing it. There are no “stimulus packages,” no handouts, no easy solutions, else everyone would do it. BUT sales is not HARD, it just takes planning and effort. A yearbook with a solid financial surplus is a great reward. The experience also looks GREAT on a resume or college application!


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