Aly's Newsletter: Here's why I'm into the minimalist approach to productivity (and job leads, what I'm working on, etc!)
First of all, I finished BBC’s Life After Life last night and it was SO good. I think anyone who is watching (or read) The Time Traveler’s Wife will uniquely appreciate it.
This story is not really about time travel in the same way TTTW is, but both plots have a very Groundhog Day-esque feel (but this one with cool vintage clothes!), and I highly recommend it.
Life After Life is based on a book, and the series is only 4 episodes, so you can easily finish it in a one night binge if you have time!
In other news, I plan to send out a newsletter tomorrow, but I have a feeling this will be the final one before the long weekend that many of you will be reading...so I hope to make it a useful one!
For starters, SO MANY of you took me up on my offer to share my workday music playlist that I decided it's probably easier to just link it here! Beware: It's very 80s’ and early 90s’ ballad heavy...it's kind of my thing.
Right now, the playlist is about three hours long - I’m constantly taking things out and adding to it. And I’m always up for fun suggestions that may work to add!
Anyway, today's updates...
Last night, Qwoted was kind enough to invite me to attend their open board meeting, and it was honestly the best time making new connections, sharing ideas, and learning from one another.
While I'd never post here about something that happened in a meeting, I will share that at one point, minimalism, or rather, taking the minimalist approach to a specific topic, was raised.
While it wasn't at all the point of that particular discussion, the word itself did give me an idea for today's productivity tip. How can minimalism make us productive? Aren't the concepts rather mutually exclusive at their core?
In some senses, of course. But not in this one. Because my point is that -- we can take the minimalist approach to our to-do list, and thereby streamline it and get a lot more done.
What if productivity is really about keeping things simple and not overcomplicating things for ourselves?
I haven't seen your to-do list, but I bet a lot of items on it simply do not need to be there. If you can try to make a point to design your day and your schedule a bit different, and focus only on those important tasks that need to be done, cutting out all the fluff (trim the fat!), you'll get to spend more time on things that need to be worked on, and get better results.
By having less to do, you just will focus on the things you do have to do. Cut out the interruptions and distractions, give yourself greater clarity.
It took me a LONG time to realize - by reducing your commitments to those most important tasks, you'll be able to give them so much more focus and energy.
In other news (but honestly so important), my friend Dara recently alerted me to a really cool app called "Be My Eyes" - blind and visually impaired people can use it to get help recognizing objects and just dealing with everyday situations.
The help comes via a community of sighted volunteers who sign on to receive photos or videos and assist via live chat. I just signed on as a volunteer and I'm so excited to get to help people (I honestly wish I had known it existed a few years ago, I'd have signed on a long time ago) - but I strongly encourage anyone who has the time to spare to get involved, too.
Below are today’s job leads. Feel free to share them with anyone, whether or not they are a subscriber - if you have your own newsletter or distribution list, feel free to share them there as well.
Let’s get some great people connected with their perfect jobs! If you have a job lead of your own, send them any time - it’s always free, and I’ll share in the next available newsletter.
B Public Relations is looking to fill several roles – Account Supervisor, Account Director, and Assistant Social Media Manager. These positions are remote, supporting hospitality, tourism and food and beverage brands. More info is available here.
Fast Forward PR is looking for an Account Executive with at least 2+ years post grad experience, and will be working with hospitality, wine & spirits, and event clients. This is a fully remote position, and candidates must be strong in research, writing, pitching, and nurturing media relationships. Applicants can send their resume to email@example.com.
Newly published or freshly updated stories
Food Network: Spoiler Alert: Marshmello’s Coca-Cola Collab Doesn't Taste Like Marshmallow
Food Network: Taco Bell's New Tostada Is Basically a Giant Loaded Cheez-It
The Kitchn: Salt & Straw Is Releasing a Line of Culinary Perfume That You Can Spray on Both You and Your Ice Cream
TODAY.com: Where to score the best 4th of July food freebies and discounts
RetailMeNot: All the Best Fourth of July Sales to Shop Now (2022)
RetailMeNot: 13 Stores That Let You Bring in Old Clothes for Recycling
RetailMeNot: Stores Open Fourth of July + Fourth of July Store Hours
TripSavvy: The 9 Best Sedona Hotels of 2022
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social media shares tagging @alywalansky and the outlet.
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.
I’m putting out preliminary feelers for a potential story on National Ice Cream Day deals at chains. If you have any deals brewing, please tell me what the deal is, when it’s good for (is it just for National Ice Cream Day or all of Ice Cream Month?), and how to claim the deal.
National French Fry Day is ALSO coming up and I’m putting feelers out for the same as above for that 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
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 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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You made me cry when I read that you signed up to assist people with Be My Eyes. I work with blind and visually impaired people every day with one of my clients and learned about it last year. You are doing such important work!
I just signed up for Be My Eyes -- what a great concept! Thanks for sharing.