5 Questions: Staying relevant

As the school year winds to a close, students in schools across the country are wrapping up a yearlong process to produce their schools’ annual yearbooks.

We contacted Richard Stoebe, director of communications for Jostens, one of the nation’s largest publishers of yearbooks, to ask him about the status of yearbooks in the second decade of the 2000s.

Q: What’s the allure of yearbooks in the digital era?

A: Printed yearbooks are a timeless part of school tradition and culture.

Q: Are they unique?

A: They are unique in that they are created for students by students who develop important journalism and life skills through the experience.

Q: How would you describe yearbooks today, as compared with those from the 1950s to the 1990s?

A: Yearbook trends include all-color books and personalization and customization options that empower all students to be a part of their school yearbook beyond class photos. Jostens now offers a way for students to create their own personal yearbook pages that appear in their own copy of the school yearbook.

Q: Are yearbook sales still as popular today with students as they were, say, 20 years ago?

A: The school yearbook tradition remains strong in that virtually every school prints a yearbook.

Q: What’s the biggest change your business has experienced in the past decade?

A: The biggest change for our business is that digital technology allows us to create innovative ways for people to create personalized and customized products.

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