International Art Materials Association

   eNEWS:  February 14, 2018 

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The Power of PR

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

You oughta be in pictures. And on TV. And on the radio. In fact, your store is so cool it ought to be everywhere, and so should you. There’s an inexpensive way to get there if you’re willing to put in the time; it’s called PR – public relations.

PR isn’t advertising: you pay for advertising; PR is free. You can say whatever you like in an ad campaign because you have total control how your ads look and read. You even choose when your ad will run and which publications/channels/stations it will run.

Publicity is just the opposite: You send out a press release and hope that it catches someone’s eye. You put your best foot forward, painting your store or event in the best light, but you still won’t have control over what the medias will say, how they’ll say it, if they choose to run it at all. But when they do, that little press release equals instant credibility. Your press release needs to stand out, to do that you need to follow very specific rules:

  • Use your own letterhead.  Your contact information goes at the top; be sure to include all contact information: your name, address, telephone number, cell phone number, email, web site URL, and social media links and handles.
  • Add the words “PRESS RELEASE” or “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” in capital letters, across the top of the document. “PRESS RELEASE” usually means a future event; “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” means the medias need to act fast.
  • Write a killer headline in 10 words or less. Remember, it’s going to someone who will likely be going through a pile of press releases – yours needs to stand out. Your headline needs to summarize the entire press release; it should also include keywords that will help search engine optimization when it’s posted online.
  • The first paragraph must contain virtually the entire story. Lead with a great first sentence, followed by a first paragraph that includes as much information as possible; details can come later on in the press release. The first paragraph is the hook that gets the reader interested in your story – put these five important words to work: Who, What, Where, Why, and How.
  • Write the body of your press release using an “inverted pyramid”, meaning the most important info is located at the top, and things that are less important go toward the bottom. This strategy dictates that most important information comes first. It also helps the editor adjust the story to fit the space available without losing essential information.
  • Be enthusiastic but don’t go crazy – medias can smell hype a mile away. Read it out loud to make sure it doesn’t sound like an ad.
  • Add a quote or two – and don’t be afraid to quote yourself! If it’s a press release about your store, designs, or product, you should be a significant part of the story.
  • Use a basic, easy to read type font such as Times New Roman or Ariel.
  • Double-space. Editors need space to make notes and a double-spaced document allows them to easily make notes in-between the lines.
  • If you send your press release via email, include it in the body of the message. This allows the editor to easily cut and paste information from your press release into his/her article. Do not send it as an attachment; editors are just as leery of opening documents from people they don’t know as you are.
  • Use the last paragraph to add any other information about your store, such as awards you may have won and how long you have been in business. Your name and contact information should be repeated in your closing paragraph. If your story has a shelf life, add “Please run before” and “Don’t run after” dates. This helps ensure that your story will be run on time
  • End every press release with # # # centered at the bottom of the page. This indicates the end of the document.
  • If medias are hungry for news, they’re starving for photographs. Always, always, always include a photograph. If you are sending a press release to a blogger or other online publication consider including a video as well.
  • Put together a list of local media contacts. An on-line search of area publications, plus television and radio stations will help you compile a list of names and contact information. Press releases that are sent to a specific person are more likely to get noticed. Send it to local and industry bloggers who may be interested in sharing your story as well.
  • Don’t wait until the last moment to send your press release; you need to give the media time to react. Traditionally, early morning is the best time to reach publications, late morning and early afternoon is preferred by television and radio stations.
  • There are many ways to get your press release to the medias: U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, and online posts. It’s also a good idea to create a “News” tab on your website, and share the link on Twitter, Facebook and the other social medias you use.

These days of 24/7 communications, anything can become big news, so look for PR opportunities everywhere. Keep your cell phone camera ready and take photos at in-store events and classes. Take a photo of yourself at NAMTA and the other trade shows you attend. Ask for a photo (and a quote) with famous artists, bloggers, and publishers – anyone of industry interest.

Commit to doing a press release at least once a month, and you’ll become known as the creative “go to” expert in your community for all things retail!

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place. KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in national newspapers, national and international industry and consumer publications, and on radio and television programs across the U.S. You can learn more at


NAMTA Lifetime Achievement Award

Meet the 2018 Recipients

Mark Golden

Mark Golden, CEO and Co-founder of Golden Artist Colors, began the company in 1980 with 4 employees, his father Sam Golden, mother Adele and wife Barbara. Originating in a cow barn on his parents’ retirement home in rural Columbus, NY, the company made and delivered custom artist colors for artists in Manhattan.  GOLDEN’s staff of Employee/Owners is now over 200, with facilities in Columbus as well as Norwich, NY.  

Mark was selected as the 1996 Small Business Person of the Year for NY and recognized by President Bill Clinton for his activities in creating a business exemplifying the spirit of Corporate Citizenship, providing a work environment that values all employees. In 2006, Mark received an award from the American Institute for Conservation, recognizing his contributions to the art conservation field. In 2005, he received the NYFA 2005 Inspiration Award and was honored by the Manufacturers Association of Central New York with a 2005 Wall of Fame Award.  In 2011, Inc. Magazine recognized GOLDEN as one of the top 50 small businesses to work for.  In 2012, GOLDEN was recognized by Americans for the Arts as a top 10 contributor to the arts in the US. In 2014 Mark received an honorary Doctorate from Colgate University for his work in support of the local and international arts community.

In 1997, Mark and his family began The Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts to honor their parents. Its mission is to be a significant resource for visual artists. Over the next 14 years, the Foundation donated to numerous artists and art organizations. In 2010, the Foundation began constructing the Golden Residence, a 10,000-square-foot living and work space for invited artists which opened in 2012.

Allen Shefts

As known, Allen Shefts is a proud owner of Jerry’s Artist Outlet in West Orange, New Jersey.  But as proud as he is of his business, Allen is most proud of his relationship with his wife Bonnie and their children Samantha and Spencer Shefts.

Originally from Brooklyn New York, Allen was in the Armed Forces and stationed in Landstuhl, Germany from 1966 – 1968. Allen received an undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College and continued school for his Masters Degree at CCNY.  After that, Allen created and directed one of Brooklyn’s first sheltered workshops for challenged adults.

Currently, Allen is a New Jersey resident with a long and illustrious history in the retail art supply industry dating back to 1978. He was CEO of the world’s largest art and craft suppliers and a major influence in the art supply industry. Allen’s experience, expertise, mentorship and honesty have earned him the respect and friendship of the entire NAMTA community. Allen’s motivation to open the store in New Jersey comes from a belief in the importance of art in our daily lives. His general philosophy that 'attitude is everything and what goes around comes around' grounds him in every aspect of his life.

By the Numbers

When you are at Art Materials World in a few weeks, it will be good to know that Dallas' restaurant scene's growth is explosive with more options than ever for the city's diners. The Eater 38 is a list of 38 restaurants that serve up consistently solid fare across a variety of cuisines, price points, vibes, and settings. Consider it a restaurant bucket list for Dallas diners, ranging from low-key delis to upscale steakhouses and excellent taquerias.

Also see Things to Do & See in Dallas (and eat and drink

Notable Quote

"Time becomes meaningless in the face of creativity."

- Fred Babb

Year-Round Mobile App! 

Includes NAMTA Services
and Art Materials World!

When you download NAMTA’s new 365 App you can have NAMTA and Art Materials World with you all year. News updates and art advocacy information plus vendor and member directories will be at your fingertips.

To download the NAMTA mobile app, go to the App Store or Google Play Store and search for NAMTA.

While you are at Art Materials World in Dallas, stop by the NAMTA Booth and show us your NAMTA App and receive a NAMTA pin.

App questions or updates - contact

Art Materials World 2018

March 4-6 in Dallas, Texas

Have Some Fun!
Sign up for the 2nd Annual NAMTA Cornhole Tournament

Tournaments will be held on the trade show floor during Art Materials World 2018 in Dallas. Each team will have two players. The tournament entry fee is $25 per team. These entry fees will benefit the new NAMTA Art Advocacy Grant Program.

Will Your Badges Be Ready When You Arrive? 
Onsite Registration is still open. If you have questions or need help registering badges, contact Karen at or call 704.892.6244.

Welcome Reception
Make sure you stop by the on Saturday evening.  FREE for Art Materials World Attendees. Complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres - get details.

Art Advocacy

Visit for news, resources, and facts about Advocating for the Arts.

Follow NAMTA Art Advocacy on Twitter.  

On February 12 the White House released its proposed 2019 budget to Congress, officially calling again for termination of the nation's cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the second time in a row that Congress has been called on to terminate the budgets of these agencies, ignoring the fact that Congress soundly rejected this same attempt last yearWe're calling on our members to help us once again #SavetheNEA.

Eliminating the NEA would be a devastating blow to the arts in America. For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. Territories, as well as placing arts therapists in 12 military hospitals to help returning soldiers heal from traumatic brain injuries. The NEA is also an economic powerhouse, generating more than $600 million annually in additional matching funds and helping to shape a $730 billion arts and culture industry that represents 4.2% of the nation’s GDP and supports 4.8 million jobs.  What can you do?

Fact of the Week #156: Research is demonstrating that creative expression also contributes to better health and well being. People from all walks of life and every corner of the planet are expressing themselves through the arts- musical, performance, visual, writing, culinary- and discovering how it reduces the physical and emotional burden associated with various types of health conditions and life circumstances.
See all the FACTS

Coming in May

Stop by the NAMTA Booth at Art Materials World for more details.

Member News

Fredrix® (Fredrix Artist Canvas/Tara Materials), founded in 1868 by E. H. Friedrichs, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Although the art of manufacturing artist canvas has changed since the 1800s, the product Fredrix makes today is very similar to the canvas made over 140 years ago.


The Mariotto family is celebrating the 70th anniversary of their Milan, Italy based M.A.B.E.F. In 1948 Albino Bruno Mariotto, a skilled cabinet-maker and painter, and his wife Rita, set up a craft shop producing easels for painters in Ispra, a small town on Lake Maggiore.


MacPhersons has announced that John Stephens will expand his role to be responsible to lead the company's national sale team, and Neil McIntyre is now National Field Sales Manager. John and Neil represent the new generation of capable and knowledgeable leaders at MacPhersons.

The Independent Representative group formerly known as Randy Putnam & Assoc., Inc. is now Creative Sales Consulting LLC.

NEW Products

The following products are on the New Products Page - see all the New Products

HK Holbein, Inc.
Art Materials World Exhibitor
Holbein 30 ml Acrylic Ink
Holbein Yuko Higuchi Cats Sketch Book  

Art Materials World Exhibitor
Floaterframe - New Sizes!

Art Spectrum
Art Materials World Exhibitor
Art Spectrum® Extra Soft Square Pastel Set

Art Materials World Exhibitor

3D Canvas Stretcher Kit - SMART BLOCKS™

Games Workshop

Art Materials World Exhibitor
Know No Fear

Welcome New Members

Welcome to Samantha Skinner Tovar from El Pincel, who is very excited to come to Art Materials World in Dallas and bring new products back to Panama. When Samantha's grandfather, Charles 'Charlie' C. Muse (pictured), recently passed away at the age of 93, he left El Pincel to Samantha.

Mr. Muse founded El Pincel in 1957 in Panama City. He was good friends with Stan Obermiller who was NAMTA President from 1963-65, and they continued their friendship over the years through correspondence and by seeing each other at NAMTA shows.

Welcome to Carter Sexton Artist's Materials opened in 1944 and is still in its original location in North Hollywood, California. They are a family owned, full service art store supplying local students, fine artists and motion pictures professionals.

Welcome Berenice, a family owned business in the Dominican Republic that started in 1989 inside an architect faculty of a university. They later moved to a new a bigger location where they have been serving students and professionals with their art materials needs.

Catalina Paints
, located in North Hollywood, California, is primarily a paint store, but now is branching out into art supplies in one of its locations - welcome!

NAMTA regularly searches the web for articles and stories that may be of interest to members.


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