Increase Your Yearbook’s Face Value

Jason Kaiser

Assistant marketing manager at Jostens
Jason has worked on a wide variety of print, digital and social initiatives bringing content to life through Yearbook Love, the Digital Classroom and more. A former yearbook adviser, Kaiser has worked with scholastic journalism for more than eight years.

When opening the yearbook for the first time, many students and faculty turn to those precious index pages, scan down and find their name. It’s habitual; we want to see which pages we appear on other than our portrait page. Think how much of a let down it is when you have one or two numbers next to your name. This happened to me — not because I wasn’t involved but rather due to our yearbook staff not ensuring each student was covered.

At Jostens, we believe coverage matters. We talk about three-times coverage because that’s the sweet-spot number that we encourage our schools to reach for inclusivity. Obviously more is more, but having a student appear three-times in the book at minimum is a good place to start for each yearbook staff.


Getting Started with 3-Times Coverage

To get started, you need to get organized. With the Coverage Report, you’re able to take a quick glance at coverage in the yearbook — but you can easily take this a step further. Make a printout biweekly and post in the classroom. Then, bring the team together to think about your ladder. Who are the students that are likely to appear in these sections? If you have team photos already, you can probably make a good guess as to where some of these students might appear. This way you can focus on the students not included in these activities.

Each week, then, have your students going out, getting photos, quotes, opinions, facts from students that have a lack of coverage in your yearbook. This is just one example of many of how to get more coverage of your student body. No matter the method you take, just pay particular attention to your list each week so you can adjust as needed.


Designs Where Coverage Rocks

Let’s take a look at some designs where coverage took the driver’s seat:

What we love about this spread is that there was a particular focus on quotes throughout the writing process. The editors of this school decided to get student quotes and opinions and incorporate into their story writing. This way they didn’t sacrifice their look and feel with images.
They appear often in yearbook spreads, but the folio coverage module always does the trick of including more coverage within the yearbook. What often is left blank in most yearbook spreads can be turned into a coverage paradise. This school decided to use headshots for the students being quoted — which not only gets another photo of the student in, it also puts a face to the words.
Let’s say you’re looking at coverage towards the end of the year and realizing that there’s a need for one more coverage push. The index is the perfect spot for more coverage. Whether you place photos on the spread like this school or have a mix of pictures, quotes, and mini-modules, this space can definitely help build upon your yearbook’s inclusivity.

Have Ideas About Inclusive Coverage?

We’re always looking for more ideas about how staffs are thinking about coverage in their yearbook spreads. Share your spreads and ideas with us on social media so your ideas can help other staffs increase their yearbook’s overall coverage.