Aly's Newsletter: It's a busy day!
I'm kind of all over the place today because I'm speaking on a panel this afternoon and also packing for back to back trips -- headed to Vegas tomorrow morning for the weekend to cover an exciting launch event and then I come home for a few days and then head to Kentucky for the Derby! Not to mention a deadline or…million. Ha!
(And yes - there will be a fascinator involved...no self-respecting royal watcher would miss THAT opportunity.)
While I did begin to accept press trips and work-related travel again sparingly in late 2021, this is my first back to back trip situation since pre-2020 and it feels strange and overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time.
But I’m just so grateful to be able to fully engage in and experience the topics I write about once again. I’m also feeling so good about being able to truly reconnect with friends and contacts I haven’t been able to see in real life or beyond a computer screen in years. Having Zoom and social media and email has been so important all this time, and there were points I felt so isolated, I’m not sure I would have survived without it — but there’s nothing like looking in another person’s face and being able to see them smile back at you. And, of course, even better when martinis are involved.
Still, all this takes some re-getting used to. I guess it's like getting back on a bike? Except I don't know how to ride a bike so that metaphor is completely lost on me...
My gal Amber and I have been discussing this all week, but I'd love to also approach this here...Selling Sunset this season is just so EXTRA. It's all exposition, exposition, and more exposition. I feel like it's the first 10 minutes of a new season of any Netflix series that has been off for two years and feels the need to do a full season of back story before starting any new plot - except it does this EVERY EPISODE. I'm 5 or so episodes in and it's just...a lot.
If you are watching it too I'd love your thoughts!
Also, in food news, check out this poke bowl I made yesterday…I’m pretty proud at how it came out!
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
HerMoney: 12 Mother’s Day Gifts Under $100
Forbes: Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Luxury Kitchen Gifts
Forbes: Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Foodie Gifts For The Mom Who Loves To Travel
Food Network: Stumped for Mother’s Day? Try a KFC Chicken and Rose ‘Buckquet’
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!
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 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 the following 3 stories for May for HerMoney:
Affordable Father's Day gifts...I'm looking to roundup 10 or so affordable (so under $100 or thereabouts
Travel expert tips on how to plan our summer vacay (on a budget) - like money-saving tips every step of the way, from getting to the airport to flights to hotel to saving money while we're on the trip. Would love travel experts and fellow travel writers to weigh in!
Budget tips for how to plan a summer backyard cookout/happy hour/bbq on a budget (we get how exciting it is to finally be reunited with our friends, but how do we entertain without blowing a fortune? but STILL show people a good time? Would love experts in party planning/personal finance to weigh in.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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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I can’t get over how much these ladies much spend on their wardrobes. It’s a lot. And I agree, it’s to much this season. I’m exhausted from watching it!
I LOVE Selling Sunset! So invested but I'm getting tired of the entire season being dominated by Christine and scene after scene of everyone sitting around and talking about it is getting tired. On one hand, she's beyond awful and needs to go and on the other, she is 100% carrying the show. Just like Kathryn on Southern Charm.