Look around during any school event and you will see parents taking pictures on their phones. Teachers are always taking pictures of fun projects that the students have been working on in the classroom and other special lessons that they want to remember. How do you go about getting all those pictures from both staff and parents?
School Annual is here to help…we have our very own ReplayIt© website and app that allows anyone within your school community to upload their pictures directly from their electronic devices/computers to School Annual Online. Now you just have to promote it so the pictures start pouring in!
You should promote the ReplayIt app and website to both parents and staff within your school. The best way to promote the ReplayIt app to parents is through an announcement at a PTA meeting or other event where lots of parents are present. You should explain that the app and website are free, and that they can upload pictures they take throughout the year to be submitted for consideration for the school yearbook.
Instead of just talking about it, ask all the parents at the meeting to take out their phone and download the app/visit the website during the meeting! That way parents can see just how easy it is to upload photos (and that it’s FREE). Explain that they will need to search for and then select the school name, and then you can do a quick demo of how to upload a photo. Explain what information is necessary for submission.
Many yearbook advisers find it too time-consuming to track and tally up photo count by a child’s name, so entering a student’s name usually isn’t necessary. If the app doesn’t allow you to proceed without adding a student name, you can instruct parents to put in “X, X” or some other generic version of first and last name.
Parents should definitely include class name or school event name in the comment section. If you have time at your meeting or event, you can walk parents through this whole process in your demo so they know that they have to select a category (ex: academics) for each photo submission.
Not all parents are able attend every event or PTA meeting. If your school has class parents, ask if you can attend one of their committee meetings to promote the ReplayIt app/website and do a quick demo. Then the class parents can share with all of the other parents in the class that they have on their distribution list.
REPETITION IS KEY
Remember, don’t just promote the app/website once….continue to remind parents about the ReplayIt app throughout the year right up until the deadline for submitting pictures. It should be mentioned at every PTA meeting and included in every monthly newsletter if possible. You should be able to share this information with your school’s parent coordinator or another administrative staff member that creates the monthly newsletters. If your PTA has a social media site (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), that is another great way to promote and remind parents about ReplayIt throughout the year.
USE FACULTY AND STFF
Now that you have pictures coming in from parents, it’s time to spread the word among the staff at school. A staff meeting or in-service day in early fall is a great time to kick off your ReplayIt promotion with the staff. Ask if you can attend one of these events and do the same demo about the ReplayIt app/website for the teachers and other staff (don’t forget about those specials teachers like Art, Music and PE. You’ll want to include their pictures as well). If you have a staff adviser within the school that you have been lucky enough to secure and partner with, you can also have them do this training or have them join you for the meeting.
Most parents are more than eager to post pictures from special school events and class parties on social media. If a classroom has a publishing party and a parent posts 30 pictures, take a few minutes to copy those pictures into a folder onto your computer just for that class. As the school year goes on, you can continue to collect pictures this way and create folders for each class or school event. Then you will have all of the pictures organized and ready to upload to the School Annual website.
GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND
Many schools use Google docs to share documents and to allow for collaboration. Google also has photo storage capability and some teachers like to upload their pictures to Google throughout the year. Ask teachers to share their albums with you so you can add them to your rapidly-growing collection of pictures of classroom and school events.
REMINDERS AND FOLLOW-UPS
The best way to get all the pictures you need to create your one-of-a-kind yearbook is to continue to remind both staff and parents to submit photos throughout the entire school year. Once you upload your pictures to the School Annual website and create folders by category, it will create a tally of how many pictures you have in each category/folder. So if you have 10 classrooms and notice that one class has no pictures, you know that you need to reach out to that teacher or those parents for more pictures.
NOT ABLE TO PHOTOGRAPH
One word of suggestion regarding collecting photos; reach out to your school administrative team to find out if there are any children that can’t have their photograph in the yearbook. Find out if this applies to just the professional class photos and individual pictures or if their photo can’t be included anywhere in the yearbook. Many schools have parents sign a media release to cover this scenario, so it’s best to check in with your school administrators to make sure you aren’t using a bunch of pictures of a child whose parents aren’t comfortable with it.
If you follow these tips for collecting photos, the collection process will work seamlessly and you will end up with more photos than you will know what to do with!