Branding does not have to be a painful experience.

After watching hours and hours of television on my DVR, I realized that I was thirsty. I had to have an ice-cold Coca-Cola and some Pepperidge Farms Cheddar Goldfish Crackers. Later, I was itching for some Ben & Jerry’s and a couple of crunchy sourdough Snyder’s pretzels.

Wait. Why am I speaking in name brands as opposed to generalities? Oh. Successful branding.

These specifics did not come by accident – they are learned behaviors after years of print and dynamic advertising campaigns. After realizing this, I knew that it was just as important for my students to create the same brand recognition for their respective publications.

Start moving towards referencing your publications by their name, as opposed to just “the yearbook” or “the newspaper.” Your publication’s name should automatically connect it to the publication you are discussing – and should not be reserved just to fill the space on your book’s spine.

Create branded t-shirts that incorporate your theme slogan. Most t-shirts today do not just have a logo or brand name, but also a catchy slogan. Also, include a logo for your book. Canva.com is a great resource to find generic logo templates that you can modify for the year.

Extend your branding to social media. Wendy’s has quite the reputation now for having an authentic voice in the way their account interacts with their followers. How often are you responding to or interacting with your followers? Be the brand that cares.

When all is said and done, hopefully your student body realizes the name of the book and can identify with the publication because they are IN IT. Every little bit counts towards ensuring your publication is being purchased and enjoyed by as many people as possible. After all, that’s the reason we create it.

About the author

Matthew LaPorte, Adviser

Southwest Career and Technical Academy [NV] LAPORTE is starting his 9th year advising the Southwest Shadow Online News Site and The Howl Yearbook at Southwest Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. He serves as the JEA NV State Director and the Co-President of the Southern Nevada Society of Journalists. He was recognized in 2015 as a JEA Rising Star. Check him out on Twitter @educatelaporte and Instagram @matthew.laporte.