International Art Materials Association
     
          

  
 eNews:  June 3, 2020
 
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IN THIS ISSUE:

 


SPOTLIGHT ON . . .

Aditya Vadgaonkar

Founder of Viviva Colors
Nashik,  India


How did you become a part of the art materials industry?
Aditya: I'm a med school student and a doctor in training. I've always been fond of painting since childhood. It's my stress buster. But ever since I got into med-school, I almost stopped painting. Why? Cause I never was home and never had my supplies on me. It was incredibly difficult to carry around the different materials and open up to paint quickly on the go. And so I create the Viviva Colorsheets. That's how I got into the art material industry. Please do check us out at www.vivivacolors.com



What do you do, and what is your favorite part of your job?

Aditya: I look after product development. I'm responsible for talking to artists and understanding what new innovations we can bring. It's incredibly exciting and heart warming to talk to artists across the globe and to be inspired by their stories and their creations. I would not exchange this privilege for anything!

Do you create art?
Aditya: I do! I mainly do abstract wet on wet watercolors. I love to see the various colors bleed into each other and run with the water. It's my jam. Lately, I've also started to enjoy doing abstract galaxy paintings.

Who from the industry has taught or influenced you most?
Aditya: I'm unfortunately too new to the industry and haven't had the fortune of meeting many folks yet. But I've especially learnt a lot from my interactions with the team at Urban Sketchers. I've received some GREAT marketing advice and support from some AMAZING artists: Audra Auclair, Katvalk, Meredith, EmilyArtful, Hajra Meeks, Tillith, Teoh at Parkablogs and so so so many more.

What else was a big influence for you?
Aditya: My grandmother has been the biggest influence on me! She is the most amazing woman who went to hell and back in her lifetime and still has the sunniest personality you'd find. She herself was an aspiring artist but had to let go of her passion in order to pursue stitching to provide for the family. I am heavily influenced by her work ethic and her passion for art.


Do you have something special to say about the history of your company?

Aditya: The name "Vi Vi Va" are my grandmother's initials. We aspire to be as vibrant and lively, and to spread joy as the person the company is named after. I started Viviva from my med-school dorm room as a hobby project. I got my brother Rohan to join and support me in launching the company on crowdfunding on indiegogo and it has been a fantastic journey since then - it has had its ups and downs but it has been very fulfilling and rewarding experience. (Pictured Left: Rohan and Aditya)

Thank you Aditya!



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A MILLENNIAL'S VIEW
by Savannah Davis, Namta


I remember the first time I ever did a Zoom call.

I guess to be more accurate I am not sure it was Zoom, but same experience of replacing an in-person exchange with a screen created interaction. I was a freshman in college and snow was absolutely pummeling my mountain university. In the beginning that used to excite me, coming from Charlotte, I was programmed to believe that it took just the thought of snow to result in school cancellation. In Boone, I quickly learned snow means layer up and leave for class sooner. You want to get to class early enough to strip off as many articles of clothing as appropriate- otherwise you will sweat profusely in an over heated classroom and then be unreasonably damp when you attempt your walk home in below freezing temperatures. I simultaneously shiver and sweat just thinking about it years later.

Back to Zoom. One glorious day the snow surpassed the school’s comfort level and I got the golden ticket email informing me that the university was closed. I turned off my alarm and sunk into my memory foam covered extra-long twin bed, smiling as I rejoiced over the brilliant human behind black out curtains. The smile wasn’t even off of my face when my phone began pessimistically beeping at me that I had a new email. With a quick slide of my finger, my snow day vanished as quickly as it had arrived. In my inbox sat an invitation link for the zoom-like presentations that would be taking place at their regularly scheduled times despite the day’s closures. I remember being so confused as to how this was going to work and felt like my mom (no offense to any tech-savvy moms out there) as I carefully followed the step by step directions to allow audio and video on my computer. After several delays and frustrations to get everyone on the call, our presentations began. I will never forget how funny it felt to stand in my dorm room while talking to my professor and peers.  I remember experiencing an odd juxtaposition of comfort and invasion of privacy. On one hand, I was running through my presentation with the confidence that usually only existed in the safety of my dorm-room rehearsals. On the other hand, I was acutely aware of my unmade bed and the extra-large box of goldfish that was dimming my professionalism. I still remember closing my laptop screen and laughing at what an odd experience it had been- thinking I would probably never do anything like that again.

Now here we are, several years later, and Zoom has almost entirely replaced meetings, happy hours and conference calls. What once felt a little odd and uncomfortable behind the screen is now our new normal. In reflecting on my first experience with video based meetings, I can’t help but feel proud over how quickly the world adapted. This wasn’t a one-off snow day but an already months long pandemic that needs social distancing and minimal in-person interaction. Where I once rolled my eyes over the awkwardness, I now hold back tears over the sanctity of human connection and interaction. We need each other. I am so grateful that while we can’t shake a hand and wrap our arms around each other, I can still look my friends and coworkers in the eyes as we replicate the in-office meetings that haven’t happened in months.

The caveat to all of this being, I speak from the perspective of an ideal 'zoom-er'..I live with one very sleepy dog and a husband who, deemed essential, has never stopped going to his office.  But from an ideal 'zoom-er' to any non-ideal 'zoom-ers' who may be reading this, I hope you know how much I enjoy the interruptions. The dog barks, the kids barging in and then being chased out, the forgetting to mute your microphone as you yell out your take-out order. I love the make-shift home offices crammed into bonus rooms and doorbell rings and oddly angled cameras showing me a fraction of your head but mostly your ceiling. I love the visible cups of coffee and pictures hanging on your walls and screen adjustments that reveal pajama bottoms instead of suit pants. I see these normal life things and I am reminded that we are all human- behind our titles and ranks and roles. We are all doing our best, to do our jobs, despite life moving full speed in a lot of uncomfortable directions. I don’t know how long this will last, or if we will rush back into conference rooms cringing over the veil that dropped between our work and home lives – but for now, I raise my coffee mug to you (my fellow zoomers) from an Ikea desk crammed into a guest bedroom and let out a little chuckle as I push my snacks out of view before I get on my next video call. Hang in there everyone, and stay healthy.

- Savannah

 
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NAMTA CONNECT


The Theater is part of the Namta Connect Collection trio. It is a series of live sessions held on the Zoom platform that will include education, demonstrations, new product presentations and much more.

The Theater Zoominars are recorded and three are available for you to watch. If you need help, contact Karen.





Zoominar Videos


 





Sign Up Today!

A new attraction that was set to make its debut at Art Materials World 2020 was the Demo Alley, an event many Namta Exhibitors were looking forward to participating in with their products.

In the Namta Connect Collection trio, Namta has a way for you to still be able to demonstrate your products in 2020 - a virtual Demo Alley in The Theater on the Zoom Platform.

All Namta members will be notified of the date of your live Demo, and your Zoominar will be recorded and made available for those who missed it or want to watch again.

The virtual Demo Alley is open and free to all Namta Suppliers. Fill out this form and we'll contact you to schedule your Demo. 




Namta has posted the story below on Namta Connect - The Gallery 

Today, we hope you read this Namta Retailer's endearing and from-the-heart account of her recent days.

For the future, we hope you all will use The Gallery forum to share with your fellow members what is on your mind.





Recently sent by email to Namta from a Retail Member:

"The up and down swing of things with all the covid stuff has such spikes and drops of emotions. In the last few hours I’ve had people get angry at me that we aren’t open, I’ve had incredible gratitude that we are taking things so serious and making things safe for all, I’ve had someone tell me that my ability to respond to email questions is abhorrent and ask for the owners name to offer her services on retraining me, I’ve made someone’s whole year setting their kid up with a special birthday surprise, I’ve had someone beg me to stay late if they prepay only to wait and have them cancel and demand a refund saying they’ll wait until we open, oh my gosh.... and need I continue? Today, and everyday lately is absolute BONKERS!! The highest praise to the deepest anger (maybe more pent up frustration?) is flashing with everyone this week it seems to me.


Trying to keep my hours worked under 100/week is difficult. I’m not sure what I’m doing or saying because I’m close to a melt down in my internal hard drive haha. I’m not sure if anything I’m doing will work but I just keep going. I’m not sure if every week gets harder or if I’m just more tired. Haha.

This week has been insane- I had someone hit my car a few days ago (fun surprise leaving work after a long day) only to discover the license plate a kind witness gave me turns out to be one of my regular customers that picked up an order the day she took off the front of my car and fled the scene. I found that out from my insurance agent a few hours ago who tracked down the license plate. That should be interesting for the lady to discover it was my car she hit and didn’t do the right thing. I can’t even explain my week,.... or year haha.

Three days after my work anniversary here, we closed shop even though it was before any orders by authorities. We are too busy and it felt like the right thing to do for what was going on.

I can’t even explain the crazy of C19 and I’m sure you know most of it in a million stories from shops across the nation. I’ve taken a cut in pay to keep all of our employees and I’m not taking OT pay. I knew that I could stay home and get paid and just let the business sink .... that isn’t who I am.

This week is craziest week yet I think. All these terrible things happening like hit and run car damage or having to tell the business on our street heading up covid murals that we can't be a part of it right now.... make the crawling home exhausted every night even harder than it has been. I end everyday exhausted and feeling defeated and I start everyday running on fumes but fueled with hope and the Viking blood in me that won’t let a virus kill my life’s work in this shop. Up, down, up, down, like a roller coaster taking away my guts and all I can do is swing my sword faster and wield my hope and thankfulness louder. There is so much hope and positive in the midst of this chaos that I have to purely focus on that or I will get swept away with the tide of despair.

My brain short circuits daily and I can’t think, speak, write, or say things properly. I’m not even sure how I’m functioning but somehow (I think) I am.

Hugs from across the land - if my story can help anyone out there know they aren't alone that is awesome. We will all get through this together. We have to find enjoyment in this madness or it will eat us.
Adapt, adjust, and overcome - Hope is not closed."



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Norman Berj Gulamerian

1927 - 2020
Co-Founder of Utrecht Art

Brooklyn born son of Armenian immigrants, artist, author, co-founder of Utrecht Art Supply Corporation, WWII Veteran (US Navy), book collector and father of five, Norman Berj Gulamerian passed away in April of coronavirus. Norman’s love and study of art was the foundational and primary driving force throughout his entire life.

The youngest child in the family, he looked up to his big brother Harold. Norman co-founded Utrecht Linens, which became Utrecht Art Supply Corporation with his brother Harold. It all started when Norman was unable to find high quality linen to stretch his canvases. He ordered a roll of linen from Belgium. Harold wondered if other artists were having as much trouble finding linen as Norman. And so began Utrecht Linens in the basement of the house in Brooklyn. The company expanded and moved into factory space. Together, with Norman’s specifications and Harold’s background in chemistry, they developed a complete line of oil, tempra, acrylic and watercolor paint still made today in Brooklyn, New York. In 1957, they were the first to develop acrylic gesso for priming canvases. At the beginning, Utrecht sold directly to the public through catalogs mailed across the country. In 1968, they opened their first retail store in NYC. Over the next 30 years they opened 10 stores across the country and their factory in Brooklyn had expanded to 50,000 square feet. In 1963, Norman wrote the book A Language of a Work of Art, a presentation of all the important principles and factors that contribute to the appreciation and creation of works of art. It became a widely used textbook.

Norman’s life changed completely when he met and fell head over heels for a young widow, Mary K. Alexander and her five children. They married in June of 1969 and moved to New Jersey. Full Obituary



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NEW MEMBERS




David Pyle has been developing and managing successful marketing campaigns in the art and creative products community for over 35 years.

Pyle Creative Studio
is creative marketing, audience development, content strategy and product development for the art & crafts communities.








I’ve Been Framed is a funky, fine art store and frame shop in the heart of SE Portland since 1955. They offer new, used, and rare art supplies as well as professional custom framing services to fit every budget. Serving the artist community for 65 years with friendly, knowledgeable staff.





Arlene's Artist Materials is a premier art supply store in NY's Capital Region's with in house frame shop. Locally-owned, independent, and family- operated since 1960.

 





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POSITION AVAILABLE

Posted May 26, 2020



GoldenGlobalSales.com

We Need Good Salespeople

ASAP

Contact [email protected] for information.


We represent companies in USA,
Canada, and Internationally
(all countries)

Fine Art, Arts & Crafts, Office Supplies,
School Supplies, Covid-19 Supplies,
and much more.

 




Have an Available Position to Post?
Fill out this form

It's free for Namta Members.



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Retailers - make sure you check out the New Product Page - full of new products from Namta Suppliers.

 

Supplier Members - fill out this form to put your new product on The New Product Page.

 

 

 

 

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Members - along with keeping an eye on Namta eMails and Namta.org's Home Page for updates about Art Materials World 2020, take a look at Managing Business in a Corona Virus World every now and then to see what we've posted.




ART SUPPLIES
RETAILER List

Updated on June 2


Are they open?
Do they have Curbside Pickup?

And More . . .
  ART SUPPLIES 
SUPPLIER List

Updated on June 2

Are they open?



And More . . .
 

Namta Members - add your info or updates to the appropriate list using one of the forms below.  Lists will be updated again after June 5th.

Lists are posted on the Home Page of Namta.org, on Social Media sites and e-newsletters, and sent out periodically by email to members, artists, teachers, students and more.



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ART ADVOCACY - ART MATTERS

 



   Thank you 2020 Art Advocacy Grant Supporters! 




One of the four categories looked at for the Art Advocacy Grant is Art Therapy for the Military and the Veterans. This story is a good example of a good program in this category.

How Veterans around Charlotte, NC
Found Hope, Inner Peace and Community through Art

from The Charlotte Observer
By Vanessa Infanzon, Arts Correspondent

As he was leaving the Charlotte veterans’ clinic one day in 2014, U.S. Army veteran Lewis Patterson noticed a flyer about an art class for veterans. The class changed his life. “I came right in,” said Patterson, now 72. “I’ve been coming ever since.” The class Patterson attends is at the McDowell Arts Center in Matthews. It’s one of at least three art programs for veterans in the Charlotte area. Charlotte Art League and the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC also offer programs.

Life in Vietnam
Lewis Patterson worked in a makeshift clinic answering sick calls and visiting the neighboring areas to help the Vietnamese. While in Vietnam he treated everything from gunshot wounds to snake bites. He even served as an ambulance driver, which also included picking up supplies from area towns and accompanying soldiers on patrol. “We would go out and see if any of the Viet Cong were trying to ease in range for an attack,” he said. “I had to be a soldier, then I was a medic.” After two years in the army, he returned to Charlotte with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star..

Finding Peace
Returning home from Vietnam wasn’t easy. Patterson had trouble finding a job. He was eventually recruited into a training program for electricians and worked as one in Charlotte until he retired in 2009. Once he found work, Patterson did his job, came home and pretty much stayed to himself. He slept poorly and didn’t like being around people. The post-traumatic stress disorder he developed from serving in Vietnam made normal activities difficult.  Something unexpected could set off a bad attitude or anger. It was easier for him to avoid situations where he had to deal with people. But in 2014 after he signed up for art class his outlook changed. “Once I started coming to the class, I felt an inner peace,” Patterson said. “The more I painted, the more I enjoyed. I got to the point where I’d rush home and do what I needed to do so I could start painting, create stuff.” Eileen Schwartz, the instructor who signed Patterson up for his first class, had formed Art for Veterans in 2013 at McDowell Arts Center in Matthews.  Class normally meets weekly on Wednesdays from 12-3 p.m., September through May. It ends each year with an annual art show — though both the class and art show are on hold now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The class is free and includes art supplies. About 10 veterans typically attend each week.  Vets ranging in age from their mid-30s to more than 90 years old from various military backgrounds attend, including many with experience in Vietnam. Those who want to join can register over the phone or in person. Participants can use the space during open studio time throughout the week.  “The attitude here is that everyone is welcome,” Schwartz said. “Everyone is capable of creating. We’re here to help them find their personal or unique level of creativity.” 

'Speak Your Vision’
Like McDowell Arts Center, Charlotte Art League (CAL) also offers healing art classes for veterans. They focus on providing time to facilitate communication and regain fellowship with people who have shared experiences. Participants use various forms of art to connect, said Jim Dukes, who took over as executive director at CAL on June 1.  Dukes plans to incorporate art classes, specifically for veterans, into CAL’s regular schedule.  The program kicked off in early March with “Speak your vision.” Dukes partnered with local poet Jah Smalls to provide veterans with a three-part art experience – photograph Charlotte, write a poem about one image, and present the photo and poem at an event open to the public.  Before the coronavirus disrupted plans, four veterans went out with Dukes to take photographs. Once stay-at-home orders are lifted, “Speak your vision” will be a free monthly program for veterans. “It’s extremely powerful to be able to incorporate vision with words and expression,” Dukes said, “and allowing people to tell what’s inside, what they’re keeping bottled up inside with people who understand, who have been there, who have felt it.” 

VA Programs
The VA Medical Center in Salisbury hosts the Creative Arts Festival each February. Inpatient and outpatient veterans receiving care at Salisbury, Charlotte or Kernersville VA facilities can compete in areas of art, creative writing, dance, drama and music. First place winners go on to a national competition. The hospital also offers a free art workshop on the second Tuesday of the month for inpatient and outpatient vets enrolled with the Salisbury facility. Classes vary from karaoke, yoga to art, matching the competition areas of the Creative Arts Festival.  “We have found that it (art) helps veterans express themselves,” said Brittany Plummer, a real therapist at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury and a military spouse. “Veterans sometimes have a hard time expressing either what they experienced in the military or sometimes they don’t want to express it, hold it back, bundle it up, so instead of having to verbalize what they’re feeling, they’ll use art instead to verbalize their feelings.” 

Feeling Better 
For his art work Patterson uses acrylic paint with mixed media. He incorporates textured cloth which he finds at thrift shops. Animals and nature are prominent in this artwork. Inspiration comes from magazine pictures and a calendar of dogs he owns. “I just like drawing nature, unadulterated stuff,” Patterson said. “Nature, animals, birds. I just get a kick out of drawing them.” When Patterson’s working on a project, he gets so absorbed, he may not get much sleep trying to finish it. Art connects him with others: veterans in the class, family members, especially his 7-year-old grandson who has shown an interest in drawing. For Patterson, coming to classes in Matthews brings inner peace, a sense of community.  “You can take all those negative things and focus on something in your art,” he said. “Plus, you’ve got good people around you. They support you. You have one of those ‘off’ days and they may start talking and bring up something that is humorous. They make you laugh. Now you’re feeling better.” This story is part of an Observer underwriting project with the Thrive Campaign for the Arts, supporting arts journalism in Charlotte.    



"Individual and group art therapy have been found to be effective in helping patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the area of emotional expression, socialization, emotional adaption to mental and physical disabilities and communication during rigorous rehabilitation and recovery process in an enjoyable and non-threatening way.  The creation and transformation of visual symbols provided veterans a new approach towards achieving self-integration and mastering trauma."
-
from
Sciencedirect.com.
 

See more Art Matters Facts on www.namtaartadvocacy.org. 

 

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Business Articles found on the Web, that may be of interest to you.







How Retailers Are Adapting to Curbside Pickup

Now’s the time to refine operations and prepare for a post-pandemic world
Article from National Retail Federation NFR.com
by Craig Guillot, NRF Contributor

Never before have retailers have had to change focus so quickly and on such a large scale. Within the course of one week in mid-March, many shuttered their stores and moved to an exclusive model of curbside pickup that enabled consumers to shop online and pick up their purchases in the parking lot. COVID-19 has changed everything in retail, and while there’s disagreement on what the future might look like, most believe that will never be exactly as it was before. Now that states are starting to loosen restrictions, consumers will once again walk the aisles, hold merchandise and interact with associates. Analysts say while shoppers are eager to return to the traditional bricks-and-mortar experience, retailers should take the opportunity to refine operations now to prepare for a future that involves greater use of BOPIS and parking lot pickup.

A Safe and Convenient Option
In late April, more than half of Americans were under some sort of stay-at-home order. While the impacts vary by state, some of which are starting to loosen restrictions, it’s likely the pandemic will have a long-lasting influence on consumer behavior. More than three-quarters of consumers said they were interested in BOPIS; over 90 percent of those who have tried it said curbside was convenient.

Many major retailers had made the leap to curbside pickup as a means to serve customers in a safe manner while maintaining social distancing. Half of consumers have used BOPIS as a result of COVID-19, according to an April consumer flash poll by NRF, and a quarter have done so more than once. More than three-quarters of consumers said they were interested in BOPIS; over 90 percent of those who have tried it said curbside was convenient, according to NRF’s Spring 2020 Consumer View survey. Curbside pickup has been a path of least resistance and an easy way for retailers and consumers to conduct business without being exposed to some risks associated with COVID, says Greg Portell, lead partner of Kearney’s global consumer practice. For some, that meant little more than putting up cones in the parking lot and bringing orders to shoppers. “There’s very low risk for them in this environment, because the consumer expectation isn’t very high,” Portell says. “For many, it has been the only option.”

While curbside protocols vary by retailer, they typically involve consumers ordering online then retrieving the order in a store’s parking lot without getting out of their vehicle. Many retailers email the customer an order confirmation code to click when they are in the parking lot. The system is designed not just to increase convenience but to minimize human contact. One of the biggest issues is helping shoppers figure out how it works, says David Marcotte, senior vice president of cross-border retail at Kantar Consulting. With each retailer having their own system of moving goods from the store to the curb to the car, where shoppers should park and how they interact, it can be confusing. “People don’t want to mess up,” Marcotte says. “Trying to get people comfortable with what is going on is really critical. There’s a learning curve.”

Experimenting and Identifying Best Practices
Many retailers have used a “crawl-walk-run” strategy to establish a rudimentary system and optimize it along the way, says Jeff Baskin, executive vice president of global sales and marketing at Radius Networks. Those doing it well are the ones that had some sort of curbside pickup in operation before the pandemic and were able to instantly scale up with labor and technology, Baskin says; retailers like Best Buy, Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods had a curbside program already in place and are now taking the opportunity to refine it in a risk-free manner. “Everyone realizes retailers and employees are doing the best they can, so there is a tolerance and forgiveness that hasn’t traditionally been there,” Portell says. “They really have an opportunity to try new things right now.”

Yet managing curbside pickup does come with challenges and requires the key components of labor, inventory, software, and physical access and setup, Portell says. While retailers need parking access and a system to keep the line moving, they also need a robust point-of-sale system, inventory visibility and flexible labor to manage it all. Managing inventory has been a common challenge, especially as consumers’ erratic shopping patterns have pressured supply chains. For instance, while consumers started to hoard food and toilet paper in mid-March, there was also a run on laptops and home office equipment as many were forced to work — and school their children — from home. Consumers also sought “stay-at-home” entertainment products like bicycles, balls, games, electronic devices and puzzles. While they valued supply, continuity and surety in the COVID-19 emergency, consumers will be more interested in value, assortment and optionality as things begin to loosen, Portell says.

Another key to success is a system to alert customers and stores, says Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. The system should note when a customer is nearby, when an order is ready and when it has been picked up. Most retailers haven’t had issues managing labor or space to support curbside operations while stores are closed. Yet that could all change once doors open and they try to balance curbside orders with in-store operations. “Having customers in a store is the single biggest reason that omnichannel transactions have been so challenged over the years,” Kodali says. “The pandemic has helped each store replicate as close to a warehouse condition as they can.”

Predicting the Future
While there’s hope the pandemic will subside and retail will eventually go back to some sort of “normal” store operations, consumers have made a tremendous leap to adoption of new pickup models. Baskin believes even after store operations resume, curbside pickup and BOPIS will be double what it was before COVID-19 started. At that point, retailers will have to move beyond manual and experimental curbside options to optimized operations. “Retailers need to not only figure it out now, but also post-COVID,” Baskin says. “Because you’re going to have a high percentage of those customers that are going to continue to use curbside.” While some growth in curbside pickup may be permanent, Marcotte believes consumers will still do the majority of their shopping in the store. Curbside pickup is less expensive than delivery but it still involves greater costs and use of labor than in-store pickup, he says. Most retailers have adopted curbside pickup because they have no choice. Although some large retailers might expand the service, others are likely to de-emphasize it as stores open, Kodali says. “If they do offer this in the future, customers will have to belong to a loyalty program in exchange or pay a fee, buy a minimum amount,” Kodali says. “If the service isn’t profitable, it makes no sense to offer it.”


 

5 Tips for Smart, Strategic Social Media during COVID-19

Are you struggling to produce pertinent posts during the pandemic? Here’s how to strike the right balance in the age of social distancing.
Article from
www.prdaily.com
by Brian Pittman  @thesurfwriter

Audiences are overwhelmed with COVID-19 messaging, updates and posts. Here’s how to stand out from the chaos and offer helpful, tasteful content:

1. Get a pulse check and innovate.
“When COVID-19 happened, we created a taskforce to rejigger our planned content to make sure our social media campaigns weren’t tone-deaf,” says Amy Copperman, a senior content manager overseeing editorial and social media at Adobe Spark. Her team then sent out a survey via email and Facebook Group to see what the Spark community wanted from them. That informed their content strategy. “We created new content and experiences based on the feedback,” Copperman says. “For example, we’re now doing a new livestreaming show called SparkLive on Tuesdays and Fridays across all our Adobe Spark social channels. We host social media experts and members of our product team. A few weeks ago, we had Brian Fanzo on talking about how to create a cool virtual experience.”

2. Lead with empathy, and pay it forward.
“Life has changed, and people are grieving,” says Copperman. “It’s more important than ever to show up with empathy and vulnerability in your business communications and marketing.” Providing helpful resources is a great way to do that. “It helps create an ongoing customer relationship in terms of terrific service and paying it forward,” she says. For example, her team recently offered two months’ worth of Adobe Spark for free, as well as gratis resources for businesses keen to maintain their social media momentum and formulate new, sustainable marketing plans during the crisis.

3. Share good vibes and facts.
Another approach is to share uplifting content. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization, for example, uses Spark templates to share stories like this one on Instagram around kindness under the hashtag #quarantinekindness. Fun and inspiring content doesn’t always fit a brand’s voice, however. “In those cases, remember that social media is an energy exchange,” says Copperman. “The quality of your online communications is more important than ever. So you have to ask yourself if what you’re posting provides value. Are you posting factual, relevant information? Is it truly helpful? Does it delight and soothe—or worry and inflame?”

4. Beware of C-word burnout.
“We’re all inundated with COVID-related communications, and data is showing consumers are having a negative reaction to it,” Copperman says. “So try to provide value without specifically using the C-words when you can.” For example, “Instead of jumping on conversations like #covid19 #coronavirus, see if your brand can play in more uplifting spaces, such as thanking essential workers with hashtags like #dontcancelreschedule #inittogether and #alonetogether,” she says.

5. Build bonds, and show vulnerability.
“Businesses that can connect more deeply with customers online are faring better,” says Copperman. For example, Practical Martial Arts has been in business 27 years, teaching boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self-defense to students of all ages. “They went online and were candid about possibly having to shut down,” Copperman says. “They asked for support from customers they had formed bonds with who relied on membership as an after-school activity.” As a result, the family-owned business started livestreaming classes. “They turned it around quickly,” says Copperman. “By Tuesday, they took to their basement for their first livestream class on Facebook. By Wednesday, the teachers posted nine videos to the dojo’s social media pages to keep their students engaged and working toward their next belt. And by Thursday, they had upgraded their operation a tad and successfully hosted four live classes of 25 gleeful students each on Zoom.”

 

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HEALTHCARE


Narrow Your Coverage to What is Important

What is important to you? Keeping your current doctor? Having a low deductible? Ensuring your Premiums are affordable? No matter what is important to you or your team,  ManufacturersHealthCare.com is here to help navigate the world of healthcare coverage. We have representatives available to chat, email  or talk at (888) 272-1513 and assist you with questions you might have. We are here for you!

The ManufacturersHealthCare.com marketplace empowers you as a Namta member to be able to choose the healthcare you want and need.  One way we empower members is by offering a one-of-a-kind marketplace and ongoing education regarding healthcare related topics by answering FAQs that matter most to you as a Namta member. Below is an FAQ about your Doctor and your Insurance network.  

How to find out if your Doctor is In Network 

Finding out if your doctor is in Network with your insurance carrier is very simple. All you need to do is call your doctor’s office and ask. Simple as that! It is good to note that not all doctors at the same medical practice accept all the same plans offered by your insurance carrier. With that said, when you call into the doctor’s office you should have the name of your health plan, and the specific doctor you are inquiring about. This will make the inquiry a smooth process and can almost guarantee accurate information.

Another efficient way to find out if your doctor is in your network is by verifying their Tax ID number. All you have to do is call your doctor’s office, ask for your doctor’s specific tax ID number,  call your insurance carrier’s general line, give them the specifics and they will then be able to tell you if your doctor is in network. Knowing if your doctor is in network is key to knowing how much services will cost you out of pocket and how much your insurance will cover.

We hope this information has been helpful for a better understanding regarding the many facets of the healthcare industry. ManufacturersHealthCare.com was launched with Namta members in mind and has created a one-of-a-kind marketplace for all your healthcare needs. Visit today to begin your enrollment process and breathe easy knowing you have been empowered with the tools to choose the one plan that’s right for you and your family.  Keep an eye out for more terms that will help you on your journey as well.

 

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That is Maureen Labro Guidetti, 3rd from the left, holding a Booth Award Plaque for Savoir Faire in 1989, San Francisco.

   

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