Recent news that tennis superstars Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev would not play in the Davis Cup, prompted Kosmos CEO Javier Alonso to retort, “teams are more important than players1.” You might not be the owner of the Davis Cup, but even yearbook design and creation – which is a significant undertaking – cannot be a great success without a strong team.
The key to a strong team, and an editor’s most important job, is to make sure each role is clearly defined and that everyone knows their job and what’s expected of them.
Here are some suggested roles for the members of your team (larger schools may require more than one person in each position):
This person will bring together all the content and make sure it has a consistent style. They will also be concerned with building the team and managing key performance indicators.
Working alongside the editor, this person will develop the yearbook’s look, including decisions on font choice, colour scheme and layout.
Depending on the size of your project, it is good to have at least one dedicated writer creating the written material for the yearbook sections. Senior students studying journalism or media studies are an excellent resource for that ‘in-the-field’ reporting that brings a vital student perspective to your content.
Images ‘drive’ yearbooks so it is essential to have a team of photographers capturing and supplying good photos to your team. While it is ideal to have at least one dedicated photographer with access to proper equipment, you can also source images from students, parents and other teachers.
An Information Manager stores and catalogues the written and visual content. It is an under-valued but vitally important role that will make the whole yearbook project go much more smoothly.
Once you identify the sections of the yearbook (e.g. sports day, school ball, school exchanges), you can seek out contributors to provide written and visual material for these sections. For best results, choose people who are enthusiastic and closely associated with those events or activities.
Getting your ‘A’ Team together not only makes the yearbook process more manageable, but it also encourages higher engagement from staff and students. This will add immense value to your final published result.