Final SNO Distinguished Sites Tips & Tricks

This week, we’ve shared a series of reports with tips and tricks from advisers and student editors on earning ٲٳܲ.

For our final Distinguished Site report, we’re broadening it out a bit. We consider this last set of ideas “cherries on top” – not only are they solid suggestions for pursuing badges and/or Distinguished Sites, but they’re also just generally fantastic tips for any publication.

  • Get unique with your coverage. “We have block scheduling two days a week, and on those days, we have two students ‘on call.’ When they come to class, the editor gives them a story assignment (or a few to choose from) and they have until the end of the block period to report, write, edit and publish the story with a minimum of three sources and original art. This has helped increase our regular coverage and has helped the staff keep up with timely coverage topics.” – Emily Jorgenson ()

  • Use feedback to your advantage. “We met with a lot of rejection, but took the feedback and made the necessary adjustments each time. This was a process, and it was helpful for students to see feedback in an authentic way.” – Cara Quinn ()

  • Intentionally grow your online audience. “[W]e create an IG Story and a tweet for every story, podcast, video story etc. we post on our [page], with a link to each one … This gets us page views on the website and also more students interested in joining the newspaper.” – Keith Harrison ()

  • Incorporate more original photos/artwork. “Make sure to have good photography and original artwork. Pictures draw people into the site. So have your best photos as your featured images and limit Canva created featured images. Find kids who are good on the ipad with Procreate and get them involved. Another way to get kids into your program. There are amazing artists in your school.” – Jonathan Hall ()

  • Celebrate your successes. “Celebrations are a huge part of accomplishing a badge too, so we get the Principal, Superintendent and HS staff on board with our goals and when we achieve them. They help cheer us on and celebrate us!” – Heather Hunkele ()

As we’ve done throughout the week, we’re closing out our final Distinguished Sites report with a reminder of the “why” behind the program.

  • “The best tip I have is remember this is a journey and not a race. Your staff has to develop [a] sense of perseverance and understand that not everything submitted is accepted. This is also a great chance to reflect on current criteria for publication on your site…” – Kristi Studts ()

Wherever you and your staff are in your badge journey, we hope you’ve found this week’s tips and insights helpful.

Distinguished Site badge submissions, including , are open through May 31.