2013 was all about the corporate Yearbook. Each year comes with its own set of trends. Creating content for Myspace (2008) came and went, whilst the 2009 website landing page is here to stay. As, I suspect, is the yearbook, a publication a business will create purely for an internal audience sharing the highlights of the year with employees. Unlike the annual report there’s no statutory obligation; although they don’t need to a business may want to publish a yearbook to celebrate success and look back at how far they’ve come.

I’ve just finished working on the latest one for a client, produced as a hardback annual and given to each employee at an awards dinner – as a compilation of the informative and amusing it made for a great giveaway and icebreaker.

December is here and when thinking ahead to 2014 it’s helpful to start planning your own yearbook, with these top tips:

  • Press releases and proposals are a good starting point for writing a corporate yearbook. But remember your audience. Often a rocky period complete with restructuring and redundancies can be the prompt for producing a corporate yearbook, however that message about cost savings and improved efficiency may be best kept for the shareholders. You also want people stories – long service awards, new appointments, charity news — so talk to your internal communication team or HR as well as the media and PR people.
  • Images for yearbooks can be informal, but they still need to be good quality i.e. a resolution suitable for print. Companies I’ve worked with have invested in a decent camera which will get sent out around the business, but you don’t need fancy equipment – most smartphones will take ‘good enough’ photos of the family fun day.
  • Tell people what you’re trying to do – set up an email address or shared folder where anyone can submit ideas throughout the year. Have it in the front of their minds, would that make a good story? You’re not asking them to write the piece, just to send a note of who, what, where and when. It will be enough to jog the memory when you come to assemble the stories and photos to produce the yearbook.

Finally, hire someone. I’ve written yearbooks for a number of multinational companies, so if you think outsourcing isn’t an option – it is. Decide whether you want to hire a writer to work with the content you’ve collated throughout the year, or invest in gathering content from different people. Making sure everyone is covered in a yearbook is the key challenge, but what do you think?