Update: Jan. 23, 2018
DECA Direct, the national newsletter for DECA, announced today that the Harker team has won the 2018 Herff Jones Marketing Results Challenge in Houston. The challenge was to create marketing campaigns to increase yearbook awareness and sales on campus. Team members are DECA member Vignesh Panchanatham, grade 12, and Sharon Yan, grade 12, TALON managing editor and Devanshi Mehta, grade 11, TALON seniors editor, who joined DECA to participate in the challenge.
The Harker team prepared a video highlighting methods and results that won over the Herff Jones executives who judged finalists at the 2018 Herff Jones International Sales Conference. The team will receive $5,000 for travel to the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta where it will be recognized on stage.
Team members all gained insights to the world of print production and distribution.
“I’ve been on the yearbook staff for four years since the first day of my freshman year,” said Yan, “and I’ve seen how much the journalism program has grown and changed and all the innovation and improvement that’s happened inside the journalism program with our whole process and staff.
The hardest part of this project was consolidating all of the data and analyzing it in order to present concrete numbers about our program’s growth in sales over the last five years,” Yan added. “We included significant multimedia in our presentation, such as examples of completed articles and videos from our Humans of Harker project as well as other short yearbook videos we displayed at weekly school meetings to be more transparent with the student body. In the formal presentation, we also featured examples of dynamic pages from this year’s book to demonstrate how inclusive and thorough our coverage of school-wide events is and how the yearbook staff is experiencing an upwards trend in writing quality and photographic expertise.”
Mehta was interested in the business process. “I hadn’t fully realized just how much “business” a yearbook comprises,” he said. “Even though the process of creating a book requires writing and photos and design, the path to getting that book into the hands of the community is all about marketing strategy and public relations. I’ve really learned more about how yearbook is both a student publication and a business through this project.”
Panchanatham concurred. “I’ve gained a “behind-the-scenes” view of how the yearbook really comes together, which has made me more aware of the work and care that the staff puts into the yearbook each year,” he noted.
Be sure to congratulate the team members! Check out the DECA press release! and here’s a link to the winners’ video.
Dec. 15, 2017
DECA members Devanshi Mehta, grade 11 and Sharon Yan, grade 12, TALON yearbook staff members, and Vignesh Panchanatham, grade 12, DECA member, are finalists in the 2017 Herff Jones Marketing Results Challenge. Herff Jones produces class rings, yearbooks and other academic memorabilia. DECA and Harker’s upper school Talon team are collaborating in the contest, focusing on business aspects of the yearbook.
Herff Jones will fly the finalists to Houston to present their analysis, methodology and results to Herff Jones executives. After the presentations, Herff Jones will choose a single winning team and will award a $5,000 travel prize to help cover that team’s expenses to the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta for general-session recognition.
“They are implementing this project to help increase sales and yearbook participation across campus,” said Juston Glass, business and entrepreneurship teacher and DECA advisor. “It’s been a great study/analysis on what journalism can do, with the partnership of DECA consulting/advising to meet their revenue and sales targets.”
This is a national competition and the first round was judged via video submissions. The second round, in Houston, will be in January. Both Glass and Ellen Austin, director of journalism and advisor to TALON, will accompany the team. The International Career Development Conference will be in late April.
“I’m so pleased that Harker is one of the two national finalists,” said Austin. “This is exciting, and it’s the first direct collaboration opportunity between these two Harker programs – great to see the result. Congrats to DECA and journalism on this joint inter-curricular venture!”
Watch for updates on the final judging!