Aly's Hump Day Newsletter: Job leads, today's productivity tip, and some spicy news
Also: It turns out I have a face for radio!
Good morning — and congrats for getting to the midway point of the week.
First of all, Happy Fried Chicken Day to any and all celebrating - and a reminder I have plenty of recipes for air-fried chicken (from wings to schnitzel to a whole bird) in the highlights section on my Instagram, should you want to have the feel of fried, healthied up a bit.
(And if you are looking for real-deal fried chicken — I get it! — here's a story I wrote for Men's Journal a while back with a ton of fun recipes, ranging from spicy to gluten-free.)
I had the most fun afternoon yesterday. I was asked to phone in to 105.9 The Region, a local radio station on the northern border of Toronto, Canada, to give some commentary on the ongoing Sriracha shortage.
The host had read my article in Forbes on the topic, and asked if I could weigh in on alternatives people can consider. When it airs, i'll be sure to send the link so anyone who is interested can listen!
Today's productivity tip is about setting small goals rather than trying to climb insurmountable mountains.
(Let it be noted: I've never actually climbed a mountain. I did go hiking once, but I was totally tricked into it on a press trip and wouldn't have otherwise.)
But back to the topic at hand: We all have those assignments or projects, as the case may be, that seem huge and overwhelming, and we keep on putting it off because it seems like we never have a span of time big enough in our day to get it done. But what if we just break it into more manageable pieces? Like when you are on a diet -- you celebrate every milestone, you don't wait till your goal to give yourself credit.
So with each new large project, break it down, and take a moment to figure in how each part you can accomplish fits together to complete the whole. If you look at an assignment as, say, something you are building, you know it has parts and a foundation, and certain pieces that need to be done first in order to make later pieces fit.
Every project is like that too. If you figure out what the parts and pieces are, and what that first piece that needs to be handled is -- a person that needs to be spoken to, an email that needs to be sent, research that needs to be done, you have laid a foundation. Then you can set a timeline, and start building those blocks. You've broken down your project into smaller, more manageable goals, and put the steps in place to ultimately, reach that big goal in a way that feels a lot less overwhelming.
And, sometimes this way, we find out that big and scary project isn't that big and scary at all!
RF|Binder, a fully integrated communications and consulting firm, is looking for a Senior Associate to join its Consumer practice in Boston. The ideal candidate will be a proactive, dynamic and intellectually curious public relations professional with 1-3 years of experience in consumer public relations and influencer advocacy. More info is available here.
Fun fact: Many years ago, at my first job post-college, there was a Subway within walking distance, and my go-to lunch order was tuna with pickles and jalapeños. While I haven’t been there (to the job or Subway) in years, tuna with pickles and jalapeños is still my go-to order when getting tuna salad, now at my local bagel store in Park Slope. (Try it: You will not regret it.)
Anyway, I share this story, and my food preferences, because today for Food Network I wrote about a big menu change at Subway that is pretty exciting.
In other food news, for Forbes, I wrote about a rising trend in day clubs. These are clubs — that offer cocktails and live entertainment and all the things we’d want from nightlife — but without having to stay up late. Clearly, I approve.
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 email@example.com - 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.
1. The best ways to eat healthier when flying: There are so many traps to that kind of thing — in airports and on the plane — plus it's always so price gouge-y. We can't bring our own drinks to airports, but we *can* bring food (with some limits). I'd love input from RDs to figure out maybe a combination of strategies about what you can bring with you if you have time, and if you don't, what you can buy in the airport / which airline snacks are the least egregious nutritionally.
2 - Things Nutritionists Actually Order from Panera: Would love RDs to weigh in on various items CURRENTLY on Panera menu (don't tell me about discontinued menu items) that nutritionists order and why they are good choices. Feel free to mix and match if, say, you like to have a soup and salad together or something. But be specific, lots of details, please!
3 - Zero-Prep Products That Make A *Perfect* Healthy Lunch: We have to pick our battles sometimes, right? I'm working on a mix-and-match story stuff you get at the grocery store that you don't have to chop or cook or do anything but open and eat, like this Trader Joe's story I did but stuff you can get at Publix/Kroger/Wegmans or whatever the regional chain you favor. Would love RD input on this!
4 - Best Trader Joe's Items for Easy, Healthy Summer Entertaining - this is very similar to the TJ's story linked above but I'm focusing on summer entertaining - those cheese and charcuterie plates, fun olive or pepper blends, interesting dips, etc. If you are an RD who wants to weigh in (and FINE to weigh in on multiple stories), please reach out!
National Mac and Cheese Day is coming up. I'm looking for bars/restaurants nationwide that have some rather unique/creative spin on mac and cheese on their menu. If you have something (must currently exist on the menu and be available to order), please send me:
Name of dish
Where it is (name of restaurant, city, state, URL)
Quote from chef about dish
High-res image of dish
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
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.
Please share this newsletter with a friend or colleague today. Every Friday, I randomly choose one new free subscriber who signed on that week. They will be automatically upgraded to a paid subscription for free — and, if they tell me who referred them to this Substack, that person will as well! These opportunities only get better if we share them with our friends.
Paid subscriptions get additional benefits, such as my weekly industry insights newsletters, subscriber Zoom chats, and much more.
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!
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!)
Download the Substack App!
Good news! This newsletter is now available via app. That means you can keep up with everything you are reading from your phone. Download the app for iPhone and iPad here. For Android users, sign up for the waiting list here.