Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, September 30, 2013

Seven Months Later - Following a Baseball Team

Matt Holliday batting at Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter FL ©Mary Montague Sikes

Seven months ago, excitement filled the warm Florida air and so did the thrill of anticipation and hope. It was February and the start of Baseball Spring Training. In those early days, every player believes his team has a chance to win and go deep into post-season play that starts in October. Every player is trying for a place on his team's roster. Watching the players practice and having a chance to get many of their autographs is a fun time for the fans.

As St. Louis Cardinals fans, we created special memories waiting by the players' parking lot gate and meeting Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller when they stopped their SUV to sign autographs.  At that moment in time, the dedicated fans by the gate didn't know Rosenthal would become one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball. They didn't know that Miller would be one of the leading rookie pitchers in the National League. Like the players and the other fans, we were excited and happy a new baseball season was underway.

Late September and October are bittersweet. The season ended today, and that's always a little sad. However, although the Cardinals had some ups and downs during the season, they won their division and have the best record in the National League which gives them home field advantage. They even tied the Boston Red Sox for the best record in baseball.

I don't know how far the Cardinals will go in the post season. They kept "manufacturing" pitchers all year long, so we're strong there. And we have a lot of stand out position players, not just one star. We also have an amazing manager, Mike Matheny, who has led the Cardinals to the postseason for the first two years he has held this job. He has brought a special quality of play to the team. It will be interesting to watch and follow and hope we will have a wonderful conclusion to this 2013 baseball season.

Pitcher Shelby Miller signing ©Mary Montague Sikes
It's hard work being a fan and hanging on every pitch. Go Cards!

Friday, September 27, 2013

How Do You Use News Articles to Promote?

"Fly Away" encaustic ©Mary Montague Sikes
Yesterday, I was pleased to have two different newspaper articles published about my work. A story on my art by Bob Parlier developed from an e-mail interview with him in early August. It was published in the Petersburg Progress-Index. The other, about my essay and poem in the Harboring Secrets anthology, was published in The Tidewater Review. Since all writers and artists need promotional opportunities to gain followers for their work, I started to wonder about the best ways to use these articles.

Putting links on Facebook and on Twitter have become standard for artists and writers. We add links on web sites and blogs. We send out newsletters. We make copies and file them away for display at future events.

This encaustic painting was in the Petersburg newspaper article. Art and photographs make a story more appealing and perhaps more usable for future promo.

Last year, I was interviewed about my Palenque art exhibition on the local CBS television station. I saved a link to the program segment, but never really used it for promotional advantage. I also have links to several radio interviews about my books.

There must be many more ways to put newspaper, radio, and television coverage to work than I have employed.

What about you?

How do you use events like these to your professional advantage?