Aly's Friday Newsletter: Hello From The Sky!
I'm writing today’s newsletter this morning from a plane, en route to Las Vegas!
This is my very first press trip since pre-Omicron wave and I won't lie - I do feel rather out of practice in many ways. But I have some exciting plans once I arrive, so I know I'll get back into my groove pretty soon.
I've always loved working from planes. Years ago, even before inflight wifi was much of a thing, I began the process of answering a ton of mail offline while in flight and then WHOOSH (back then, sending mail did indeed make that sound) sending it all when I landed. Back then, I was a big fan of working offline in Google Docs too, and sharing those finished files when back online.
Now, of course, I'm all about the wifi. It lets me write this email to you right now. It lets me cover last-minute breaking news if suddenly a new chicken sandwich or cookie flavor drops (these things happen!) - and it also lets me work on pending stories that otherwise would be on my mind this whole trip until I got them done anyway.
Two hours into this flight today, I've already filed two stories this morning! And, when I’m headed home on Sunday evening, it will also be how I order my groceries to be delivered the next morning.
I effing love technology.
Of course, I've been up since the ass crack of dawn and have a quad venti oat latte in my system, so I’m full of caffeinated excitement. Let's see how well I'm doing when it comes to my evening plans...
I often chat in my consulting sessions about how on press trips, it’s really important to incorporate time within the daily itinerary for journalists to get work done. This may include new assignments, pending assignments, last-minute rewrites or edits. Or even just catching up on the thousand emails they may have gotten that day.
But I think this responsibility also falls on the media side, we need to make the time — press trips are not vacations. They are work, but the rest of our work doesn’t go away if we are on one.
So it’s on us to find those little nuggets of time, whether it’s on the plane or in the van between activities or even by setting your alarm extra early in the morning and do what you need to do.
I was reminiscing with my friend Alice the other day about a few years ago when I was in London on a pre-royal wedding press trip and I discovered some breaking news about the wine that would be served at the royal wedding. I immediately pitched her via text message from the wine tasting I was at. It was a big scoop, and she excitedly answered in seconds, of course — and then I wrote that story from the car after, en route to my next activity. The story was published before I even got back to my hotel to change for dinner.
It sounds wild now, but it was all rather exciting. It’s as close as I get to feeling like the investigative journalist I trained to be.
As journalists, It’s our job to be engaged in what is going on during the trip so we can discover those potential story scoops (and just be good guests!) but also find ways to be on top of all other work we need to be doing. Otherwise, it’ll sitting at the back of our minds anyway!
Follow my Instagram all this weekend to see why I'm in Vegas and what I'm doing!
Clean Plates: The Best Healthy Mother’s Day Gifts You Can Get on Amazon
Clean Plates: The Best Decluttering Advice from Organization Experts
TODAY.com: 19 spicy restaurant freebies and deals for Cinco de Mayo
The Kitchn: Martha Stewart’s Tip for Cooking Salmon Will Deliver the Juiciest Results You’ve Ever Seen
The Kitchn: Dunkin’ Welcomes Summer Early with New Sweet and Savory Lineup
As always, if you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social shares.
Here's what I'm working on:
Be sure to read the below list carefully. Many are stories I posted about yesterday, but some of yesterday's stories are no longer listed and a few new ones have been added since yesterday. This (below) is everything that is still a currently open opportunity as of today.
For Clean Plates, I'm working on two more of my favorite topics - Trader Joe's stories! They are:
1 - The Best Trader Joe's Breakfast Items According to Nutritionists
2 - Ways to Make Simple 15-Minute Dinners from Trader Joe's
The second one can be a mix of healthy recipes and products that go together in an easy way. For instance, the TJs cauliflower gnocchi + their seriously bomb pesto = great base for a meal. (This one would be great with suggestions of adding, say, their organic green vegetable foursome and some of their frozen shrimp or chickpeas for protein). Would love RDs to comment for both!
I'm working on a roundup of Affordable Father's Day gifts (this would be the dad version of the Mother's Day story I published on HM a few days ago)...I'm looking to roundup 10 or so affordable (so under $100 or thereabouts)
For RetailMeNot, I'm rounding up Father's Day gifts for every type of dad. I'm looking for great gifts that's affordable ("affordable" obviously varies by budget, but I'm trying to stay under $200 and have a wide range of prices) for a variety of categories. I'm hoping to include picks for the following categories:
The dad who has everything
For the fashionable dad
For the outdoorsy dad
For the indoorsy dad
For the bookworm dad
For the handy dad
The Dad who's trying to downsize and doesn't want clutter
For the fitness-obsessed dad
For RetailMeNot, I'm also doing Memorial Day store hours for 2022. This is the Memorial Day version of the Easter store hours story I JUST did for them, so take a look at that one for format, but I'll have 3 sections - Stores Open on Memorial Day + Store Hours, Stores Closed on Memorial Day, Restaurants Open on Memorial Day + Hours. This Memorial Day story is an update of this piece from last year. So if you represent a store or restaurant in that story, it'd be so helpful if you can reach out with your Memorial Day info if you have it handy.
To pitch me for ANY of these stories, please email me at email@example.com (and start a new thread, please!).
Are you confused about affiliate marketing?
If you are having trouble learning how to navigate issues of affiliate marketing (trust me, we've all been there!), you may want to try out my friend Sarah Karger, a publicist, and former editor Dana Baardsen (and all-around fab girl!)'s Ultimate Masterclass and Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Publicists. It's a brilliant course and it'll answer all your questions (including some you didn't know you had!)
Virtual consulting sessions...
Over the last six months or so, I've popped into a fair amount of PR team meetings and made myself available to answer all sorts of questions about pitching, events, and trips from a media perspective. If you are interested in setting anything up for your own team in the coming months, please email me and we'll get something on the books!
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