Whether your high school paper is looking to increase the loyalty of its current audience, or draw in members of a new segment of the school community's population, branding is an important tool at your disposal to get the word out on your newspaper stories and develop loyal readers.

In order to increase the capability of high school newspapers to reach their audiences, the sections here synthesize the latest developments in industry and research in branding. We'll take you step-by-step through how you can best approach creating a brand for your paper, starting off with a crash course in branding theory and ending with how to improve and specify your branding efforts!


Here's a quick summary of what's to follow in case you're pressed for time. To create your brand you will need to:

  1. Start by defining your mission to orient your brand towards your organization's end goal.
  2. Analyze your high school newspaper's capabilities, your audience's interests, and your competition to understand the realistic realms in which you can create your brand to be effective.
  3. Create your brand to be as specific as possible based on the constraints you found in your analysis.
  4. Implement your brand with a tangible plan in person and on social media.
  5. Actively quantify and monitor your brand's success to see what's working and not working, adjusting it accordingly along the way.

<aside> 💡 For more info on the exact "Do's and Don'ts" of your social media page, skip to the "Brand identity Implementation System" header from the table of contents and check out our Content Strategy page here: Instagram Strategy.


Mission Statement

Ultimately, the success of your newspaper's brand will all come down to how strongly you've created a link in reader's minds between 1) the words, images, and symbols you use to represent yourself and 2) the unique newsroom stories and content you put out. Developing a mission statement can be a useful tool for aligning your high school journalism program under a singular vision.

Try to have a mission statement that answers these three questions:

These questions are tailored for a company, but many journalists would agree they are equally relevant for the mission statement of your newspaper. I think another key question this infographic is missing is:

Who are you doing it for?