Aly's Friday Newsletter: New Travel Story Assignments, Today's Tip, And More!
Also, look who is coming to work with me today...
We've made it to Friday. Barely.
I have to keep this email brief this morning - I am holding a sort of unique spin on my typical consulting session in an hour or so - I'm going to pop into a team's company retreat!
However, I'm bringing a friend with me.
Happy Take Your Dog To Work Day. (Or as Scarlette and Lily know it, humor your annoying human day...)
I had the best time last night, I got to attend a beautiful (and delicious) dinner at the James Beard House in NYC. I hadn't been to the Beard House in years, and it was really emotional and special for me to be back there. Aside from fabulous company and incredible food, I got to make some wonderful new friends, and I'm just so grateful.
As I have to hop to this meeting shortly, let me dive right into today's productivity tip.
Saving Money on Ride Shares
As everyone knows, ride share has been more expensive than ever lately - and for those of us on a tight budget, that can limit how often we can use it. One trick I've discovered when booking an uber -- if you go into the app and your normal ride seems a bit more pricey, you. may be in a surge period. Perhaps it's a popular area or time.
One thing that has recently worked for me is to change my pick-up area a few blocks away. Especially if you are in a busy intersection or street, just moving 2 or 3 blocks away can change the pricing. Walk away from a very popular area and you. may just discover a more popular price!
You'll save money, you'll probably even save some time and anxiety, and get to your destination happier and with more cash in your (digital) wallet.
Newly published or freshly updated stories
RetailMeNot: 13 Stores That Let You Bring in Old Clothes for Recycling
RetailMeNot: Stores Open Fourth of July + Fourth of July Store Hours
The Kitchn: Salt & Straw Is Releasing a Line of Culinary Perfume That You Can Spray on Both You and Your Ice Cream
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social media shares tagging @alywalansky and the outlet. Here's what I'm working on:
What I’m working on now:
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.
There's a Sriracha shortage coming. If you are a fan of keeping things hot, what are some other great products to try? (Personally, I always have Sambal, Gochujang, and Chili Oil in my arsenal) Would love pitches and links to where they are sold. Also, if someone wants to try to make their own Sriracha at home (or a close substitute, tastewise), how could they do that? Would love a chef to weigh in on this one with an easy step by step. Thanks!
I have a new assignment for HerMoney that I’m trying to turn around by early next week - it’s on a topic that is getting a lot of traction right now - different travel situations and why they may qualify for a reimbursement. For example: delayed or cancelled flights. Everyone is dealing with this more than ever of late. I’m looking at that and other travel scenarios and seeing when and how you can get credits and travel reimbursements. This will also fall into other travel situations you can get reimbursements on, such as flight issues, luggage issues, cancelled events, issues with vacation rentals, natural disasters, etc. I would love to chat with personal finance experts and travel experts on different travel situations and why they may qualify for a reimbursement - including the ones no one thinks about!
Here’s everything else I’m working on for HerMoney this week:
How to save money and get a better deal when booking/planning a cruise - I'd love travel experts and personal finance experts to weigh in on this one.
Are meal kits a good value? I love them so much, and I think they can be amazing for people who live alone and aren't super comfortable being creative in the kitchen or tend to overbuy ingredients and end up with a lot of waste (I'm looking at you...produce!). These kits were so popular during the pandemic, but are they still? How to know if you are getting a good deal...(also, are some better than others? What to look out for. I absolutely know I've personally had a range of experiences.) Would love experts to weigh in on this one.
10 surprisingly affordable last-minute vacation deals/destinations for your summer vacation. For each one, I want to mention a hotel in each that is a good find and/or a few restaurants that are known to be great but aren't pricey, too.
I'm writing a roundup of student discounts. I am updating this article, so if your client is listed among the existing deals, I’d love it if you can confirm for me whether it has changed or not. But I’m very open to new deals too!
I’m also working on a story on best reusable cups freebies and discounts - establishments that give some kind of BYO cup discount. These types of discounts fell by the wayside for COVID, but have since started coming back.
Share the love
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Virtual consulting sessions...
I've been popping into a lot of PR team virtual meetings and making 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! This is available for entire agencies or smaller group lunch and learn type concepts. If you are a freelance publicist and want to join in with a few other freelance publicist friends and set something up, we can do that as well!
On the fence over whether this is a good fit for your team? Here’s some feedback I received from people who I have worked with recently:
"Aly’s advice and insight is invaluable to our team, not only is she incredibly knowledgeable, she is approachable, generous, and kind too. While we read every one of her newsletters, we decided to go one step further and invited Aly to host a Q&A with our agency. During the session, we felt comfortable asking her everything and anything. She went above and beyond, providing examples and reasoning for each answer, and the team walked away with an abundance of new insight, tips, and tricks, plus a new confidence in handling some of the most crucial parts of our jobs." Sacha Bell, Rachel Harrison Communications
"Looking for a brilliant writer that always goes above and beyond? Look no further than Aly! She is an incredible teacher, tells it exactly how it is and is so generous in sharing her knowledge. She knows what she wants from publicists, is very clear on her needs and expectations, and how to best support one another. Most of all, her kind personality jumps off the page, and her giggle and smile are infectious. In this consistently changing world of media, it’s so refreshing to know someone so genuine.” Kirsten Wanket
“Aly has very kindly agreed to join a few sessions for us talking to both smaller and larger internal groups, and it has been incredibly helpful for our team to understand more about her process, and garner best practices that we leverage as we work on various programs. From sharing dos and don’ts for virtual and in-person events to pitching tips, Aly is a pro and always so thoughtful in her responses. And her own first-hand knowledge has helped us all to better understand the work process for freelancers and how we can most effectively work with other freelancers like Aly. We always appreciate her time and insights!” Erin Delahanty, Edelman
“I would highly recommend booking a virtual consulting session with Aly for an agency of any size! She offers up to date perspective on everything from the affiliates to how to get your pitches read to timing your pitching correctly. These virtual consulting sessions literally save you time trying to figure out what the media is looking for and give your team an immediate edge. Aly took her time and answered questions from the team. She is super friendly and you can tell she genuinely wants to create a win-win relationship between the media and publicists. Our team loved having Aly on and we cannot wait to have her back! It was a blast!” Leah Cybulski, ChicExecs
“Aly was able to join our agency for a PR Perspectives chat and not only was it so much fun, but it was so informative! Keeping a pulse on the constantly changing media landscape is so important and we loved the insights and expertise Aly was able to share with us. Highly recommend setting up a chat with her!” Jennifer Haile, Dentsu Creative PR
“I am always looking for ways to share new ideas and learning opportunities with our team to improve how we pitch and offer value to journalists and in turn their audience. Aly's no nonsense approach gave us accessible advice about the best way to communicate to media, what formats works best, and basically how we can share our client news in a way that will get us noticed and included in stories. Would do again in a heartbeat!” Samantha Davidson, Say My Name Communications
“For my team’s first hybrid media event for a product launch in the COVID era, Aly quickly jumped on a Zoom and dropped great insights that drove many of the event elements. The direction she provided helped us increase attendance and gave her journalist colleagues a more memorable experience. It was a bonus that she was so easy and fun to talk to.” Apryl Ash, Approach Marketing
Now, it’s your turn! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get something on my schedule for this summer.
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!)
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