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Everything you need to know about your student publications

When you become a journalism adviser, it can be overwhelming to jump in and realize all the little details you need to know in order to manage a successful program.

Most journalism teachers come from an English or Art background, and lack experience in the specific skill sets needed to create a publication. There’s absolutely no shame in not knowing it all right now, but here is a list to get you started!

YEARBOOK

OVERALL

  • Who is your publisher?
  • Who is your local rep?
  • What is the best way to contact them?

PUBLICATION

  • Are there any specific traditions that the community expects to see in the yearbook?
  • What is the name of the publication?

BUDGET

  • If you haven’t already, schedule a meeting with your rep & complete the budget. This allows you to know your options for cover designs, advertising requirements, any limitations on page counts, etc.
  • If your program is in debt, ask them for advice about how to increase sales and make up that difference. It may take several years, and that is okay. Progress is progress!
  • How many copies have been sold in the past few years?
  • Does the school typically order extra copies or only enough to cover pre-orders?
  • How many pages are normally done?

ADVERTISING

  • How much of your budget typically comes from senior tributes/ads?
  • How is ad space broken down?
  • What are the ad prices?
  • Are ads sold to seniors only or all students?
  • Can local businesses purchase ads?
  • Do parents design their own ad, use the software, or does the staff design the ads?

CREATION

  • What software does the staff use to create the book?
  • What educational resources are available to help the staff learn how to create the book?

DEADLINES

  • Does your book deliver in the spring, summer, or fall?
  • What are your deadlines?
  • How many are pages due at each one?
  • What is your absolutely final deadline?
  • What happens if you miss a deadline?

PROOFING

  • Do you receive paper proofs or digital proofs?
  • How long do you have to review & return proofs?

MARKETING

  • What marketing techniques have been successful to sell the book?
  • Does your publisher offer email marketing?
    • What do you need to provide in order to participate in email marketing?

newspaper

OVERALL

  • Who is your printer?
  • Who is your contact at the company?
  • What is the best way to contact them?

PUBLICATION

  • How many issues do you print per year?
  • How many pages is in a typical issue?
  • Are there any specific traditions that the community expects to see in the yearbook?
  • What is the name of the publication?
  • Are there any special editions?

CREATION

  • What software does the staff use to create the newspaper?
  • What educational resources are available to help the staff learn how to create the paper?

BUDGET

  • How much does it cost to print an issue?
  • How is the newspaper funded?
  • How much of your budget typically comes from community advertisements?

PRIOR REVIEW

  • Are you located in a New Voices state?
  • If not, do you have prior review? If so, what is the process to receive the review? Be sure to have a conversation with your admin about the differences between prior review and prior restraint.

MARKETING

  • How is the newspaper marketed?

online news site

  • Do you have a website?
  • Who is the domain registered through?
  • Where is the site hosted?
  • How is the content created?
  • How is the website funded?
  • How is the website updated?
  • How is the website marketed?
  • Does each user have a login or use a master login?

social media

  • What social media platforms does your program utilize?
  • What are the login credentials for each one?
  • What is the staff policy for taking down/removing content?

Be sure to check out our video below to learn how to brand your journalism program in order to increase visibility on campus!