Aly's Friday Newsletter: What I did last night, new stories I'm working on, and job leads!
Thank goodness we’re finally here.
Last night, I attended a beautiful dinner at The Osprey at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, who is hosting a Supper That Sustains Us series. This dinner, in partnership with D’Artagnan and Gerard Bertrand, donated a portion of their proceeds to support The Slow Factory – a Brooklyn based climate innovation lab focused on addressing climate justice and social inequity.
Obviously an incredibly important cause, and event, and I was so honored to be able to be there to support. (Delish food and wine, too, and all using sustainable locally sourced ingredients.)
Also: Can I just say how exciting it is when I attend an amazing event, and it’s in Brooklyn? My area of Brooklyn, no less. I 100% am happy to travel for friends and fun, but it’s still such a special treat to end a great night, knowing you are only 15 minutes from home.
And here's today's productivity tip!
I feel like Fridays are always that day that hit a lot different from other weekdays. It's certainly not going to be a day that we approach the same way we'd approach a Monday. But there is still work to be done. I think Friday is an ideal day to tie up loose ends and not begin anything new. Today, I plan to respond to emails that I need to get back to from this week, and firm up details about upcoming trips and appointments.
Friday is not a day I'd normally start a new project (unless I have no choice!) But it is a day that I like to work on less challenging stuff on my to-do list to just get it off my plate and off my mind. The best items to work on today are those that aren't going to require your deep concentration – small, simple tasks, maybe updating or reviewing. your work calendar, following up on on projects, emails, invoices, returning phone calls, and other routine things that are more about getting organized and doing a pre-weekend reset, than any heavy lifting.
Newly published this week…
The Kitchn: The New Cinnamon Toast Crunch Snack Has an Exciting Twist
Food Network: Salt & Straw Brings Back Its Version of the Choco Taco Just When We Need It Most
Clean Plates: The Best Trader Joe’s Items for Easy, Healthy Summer Entertaining According to Dietitians
TODAY.com: These restaurants are giving away free chips and guac for National Avocado Day
TODAY.com: How to get free wings on National Chicken Wing Day
Forbes: 20 Bright Pink Cocktails That Embrace The Barbiecore Trend
Forbes: The Bellagio Conservatory Has Launched A Meal Experience That Is Like No Other In Las Vegas
The Kitchn: Dave & Buster’s Has Just Made Our Childhood Fantasy a Reality
Taste of Home: How to Get the Bacon Smell Out of Your House
Forbes: JetBlue Teams With NYC-Based Legacy Records For New Mint Food Menu
Her Money: Trip Ruined Due To A Nightmare Travel Scenario? Here's How To Get A Credit For That
Clean Plates: The Best Ways to Eat Healthier and Save Money When You’re Flying
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social media shares! Please remember to tag @alywalansky and the outlet.
Jack Taylor PR is searching for both Account Executive and Account Director positions to grow its expanding team based in Brooklyn, NY (Dumbo). Jack Taylor clients are primarily focused in the health & wellness space, solving big problems and elevating the human experience. Learn more about the agency at their website and inquire directly at email@example.com.
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.
Please remember when pitching me: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - do NOT just hit reply on this newsletter, or there’s a good shot your email will be lost in the heap. Give your email a subject line that makes it clear which story you are pitching me for — it’ll help you in the long run.
For HerMoney, I'm writing a story rounding up ways that you can travel for free this year - yes, free. Like work exchanges, volunteering, house sitting, pet sitting, house swapping, etc. If you are a travel expert who can offer some commentary, I'd love it if you reach out!
What's the deal with sprouted potatoes? - I'm doing a story on sprouted potatoes for Southern Living, and I'd love to know more about them. Are they safe to eat? Why do they sprout? What's the ideal way to remove the sprouts? What's the best way to store them? How do you know when it's time to just toss the potatoes altogether? Obviously, I know the answers to a lot of these questions, but I'd love a chef or food safety expert to weigh in.
I'm looking for nutritionists and RDs to share their go-to takeout order and why it's the best way to go in terms of nutritional value, well-balanced meals, being satisfied but not over-stuffed, and so forth. Obviously not specific restaurants, of course. but more like "if getting Chinese takeout, get this..." "if getting Indian takeout, get this..." and so forth. It’s fine to say “I order this but sub out this aspect for this aspect, or get it without the sauce or whatever.” Please reach out if you have someone who can comment!
I’m working on a roundup of great oyster-centric dishes in honor of National Oyster Day. To pitch me for this one please remember to include all the following parameters:
Name of dish
Where sold (restaurant, city, state, URL)
Description of dish
Quote about dish (please remember to give me the name AND title of the person being quoted - you’d never believe how many people forget to do this!)
High-quality image of dish (AND any necessary photo credits). Please be sure to name the image something like the dish’s name or restaurant’s name (I get A LOT of photo galleries of a million unnamed photos…you can imagine the carnage that can ensue if I choose the wrong image!)
2. On August 1, the world will celebrate National Spritz Day! Believe it or not...not everyone loves an Aperol Spritz. (No hate on Aperol, it's just not for everyone...). So I'm doing a roundup of OTHER spritzes to enjoy to celebrate this day. If you represent a bar or restaurant with a great spritz on the menu, please email me and let me know (and you can follow all the same parameters as the oysters story!)
(Note: Wrapping up both the oyster and spritz stories TODAY. They’ll publish by early next week. So send those last-minute pitches!)
3.Also for Forbes, I’m rounding up the celebrity chef restaurants that opened in the last year or so or are opening later in 2022 that are especially exciting. If you have any that might be a fit, please email me. I’ll need info about the restaurant, and some images I can use, and would LOVE if I could get a quote or two from the chef/owner. This is not a full-length feature on any restaurant but more of a roundup/list. (Though if any sound especially great I can consider for a more focused story down the line!)
I have a few weeks to play with these two, but that's because I need to compile a whole lot of info for these...
The Best Labor Day Sales to Shop Now - This is similar to the sales roundups I did for July 4th, Father's Day, and so forth. I'm rounding up the best Labor Day sales this year, focusing on major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s etc. When pitching me, please include the details of the sale, if it’s in-store or online, and any cash back offers from RetailMeNot.
Your Guide to Labor Day Store Hours - I'm going to be doing a revamp of this article, about the store hours of major retailers during Labor Day weekend. I want to include the retailers that were in last year’s update (so please email me if you are any of those stores) but will be expanding and adding more in this update. Yes, this is very similar to the hours updates I've done for Memorial Day, July 4th, etc, so you know the drill by now as far as format goes!
I am looking for deals/discounts/freebies at chains for
National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
If you have any, please tell me what the deal is, when it’s available and where, and how to claim it.
Share the love
Every morning, I share what I’m working on that day and links to newly published stories and send it right into your inbox — for free! I also share productivity tips, job leads, links to volunteer and mentoring opportunities, recipes, and more — all always free.
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Virtual consulting sessions...
Looking for a consult as you plan your next event or trip? Or just want someone to take a look at the pitches you’ve been sending and give some feedback?
I've been popping into a lot of PR team virtual meetings and some other fun stuff (I even recently joined in on an agency’s team retreat right here in Brooklyn — it was so fun and I made so many new friends!) and making myself available to answer all sorts of questions about pitching, events, and trips from a media perspective. I like to keep these things chill and comfortable and relaxed all by sharing perspective and learning from one another.
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!
Potential new availability: A few people have reached out to me and asked if I was also open to doing consulting for freelance journalists in addition to the PR consulting sessions I currently do, and I am absolutely considering it. I need to spend some time thinking on what a session like that may look like and be structured, but after 20+ years in the industry, I’ve seen a whole lot change and it may be interesting to share my own experiences with someone just starting out. So, stay tuned!
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 spoke to our team to help us all gain a better understanding of the media side of our business. Whether it was the best ways to pitch media or understanding the editorial process of content, she gave us tremendous insight into a vital relationship for mutual success. We were thrilled and our team came away with not only a deeper understanding, but with greater empathy for our colleagues in the media market. Definitely would recommend Aly for any agency looking to better work with their media counterparts.” Dawn Britt, Founder/Managing Partner/CEO of OneSeven Agency
“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 email@example.com 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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Aly, so happy I found your newsletter!! It has been too long