“Distribution Day” – Possibly the most exciting day in the year for many students, yet with the potential of being the most chaotic and stressful day for an adviser and the yearbook staff. With all the information you’ll have to remember, here’s a list to help keep you on track:
(TIP: Get a binder with 8-tabs to organize each of these items in preparation for the big day)
- Distribution Memos – Keep a copy of all your emails and other communication about yearbook distribution (i.e. when students should be released from class, names of students who pre-ordered books, list of staff members who need to be released from class to help, etc…). This info should be handy in case an administrator, teacher, student, or staff member asks for a reminder. Although you may have memorized all this information by now, you’ll be surprised what you can forget when you’ve got several 100 students shouting at you for their yearbook.
- Volunteer Info – If you are recruiting volunteers outside of your yearbook staff, keep the information here (names, contact info, time frame, station assignment, etc…). Create a check-in sheet to check-in the volunteers as they arrive, and make copies of instructions for their stations. Make sure instructions are typed out and photocopied. Volunteers will arrive at different times, and you don’t want to have to spend all your time training each one. Have a back-up plan for in case volunteers don’t show up. For example, you may want to assign a couple “floaters.”
- Staff Jobs – Make sure every member of your staff knows what’s expected of them. If they are going to be moving boxes of books, make sure they arrive properly dressed. Once week before distribution, hand out a list of expectations (i.e. what time to show up, where to meet you, what part of the alphabet they will be helping with, what to do if they have a delivery question, and what to wear). You may want to let them know that any staffer/editor who violates the rules will be sent back to class. In which case, you also want to prepare for back-ups.
- Pre-Order Database – Make sure you have a complete and accurate list of all students who have pre-ordered their books. Have this list divided by grade level and then sorted by last name. Set up a “Problem Table” and provide the staff at this table with a copy (or several copies) as well.
- Complimentary Book List – If you budget for complimentary books (i.e. for the principal, library, PTA, etc…), make a list of who is receiving one, who is delivering it, and when it was delivered. Make sure you set these books aside as soon as your books arrive, so they aren’t accidentally sold. If possible, have a staff member hand deliver the book, and get a signature in return. Keep these signatures in your binder for future record.
- Special Requests – Many times and for many reasons, you will need to deliver a book through the mail, leave it in the office for parent pick-up, or allow a sibling/friend/neighbor to pick up a book for someone. Keep a list of all special requests here, and some sort of proof that you followed through with the request. Anyone picking up a book for someone else should sign for it. If you have to mail a book, use certified mail, and get a receipt.
- Delivery Problems/Suggestions – People are going to have opinions of how you can do things better next year. Whether it’s about the book or the actual distribution process, keep a form handy where you can jot down their suggestion, name, and contact info. They might actually have some good ideas for you, or at the very least, they will feel as though you are taking them seriously.
- Notes – Keep a place where you can make your own notes of what went well and what didn’t. Not enough pens at stations? Too many people at the problem booth, but you needed more for crowd control? Not enough food to feed volunteers? etc… Don’t count on being able to remember it for next year. Remember, that’s a whole year away!
Remember, the more prepared you are, the smoother your day will be! And if you have any distribution tips and tricks, we’d love to hear them! Please share your comments below…