Aly's Newsletter: It's Finally Friday!
We've made it to Friday....
Last night, I was glued to the coverage of the January 6 hearings, and I sincerely hope all of you were as well. It's still shocking that something that actually happened, but watching the footage last night, it was harrowing and horrifying on a whole other level.
And now some levity
My feline friend Theo's mom is coming home tomorrow so I am about to be off cat-sitting duty and back to being a dog mom rather than a temporary dog-and-cat mom. He's a DOLL though and I'm strongly encouraging future playdates.
(Involving me, to be clear.)
Before tuning into the hearings last night, I participated in a virtual cooking class being held by a well-known plant-based “meat” brand. To be clear: I am not plant-based as a rule. I’m totally a carnivore. (In fact, if it’s ever a special occasion and someone asks me to suggest a restaurant, it’s going to be a steakhouse.) So when I have a lot of fun learning about, cooking and then eating something I created that is plant-based? It’s a sure sign of a good product and a good event.
Keep that in mind when choosing your recipes and run of show for any sort of virtual cooking class. If the recipe and the results are good (and it’s a knowledgable and engaging chef, that’s so important too!), it’ll reflect well on your client and product and be far more likely to lead to future coverage.
I'm going to dive right into today's pending stories because I have to go prepare for a virtual consulting session in a bit and I have yet to caffeinate this morning (the most important part!). This will be a busy weekend, with some serious unavoidable cleaning on tap and then prep for my signature cocktail launch in NYC later this week.
Have a great weekend, all! Those who are paid subscribers will get my weekly industry insights newsletter as usual tomorrow AM, and within it will include details about the next Ask Aly Anything Zoom session. I have been doing these every month or so for subscribers all this year so far and they are always a fun time -- I can't wait till the next one. So much to discuss this time!
Newly published or freshly updated stories
RetailMeNot: The Best Father’s Day Sales and Deals to Shop Now
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:
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.
I’m working on a story on Real Food Vitamins vs. Synthetic Vitamins: How to Select the Vitamins Your Body Can Actually Absorb. Would love to do some interviews with experts (dietitians/MDs probably but open to other experts with legitimate and substantial credentials). I’m looking for expert input on what real food vitamins actually are, how they differ from synthetic vitamins, what makes them better, and how you can suss out real food vitamins vs. their synthetic counterparts. (Note: I can only take unaffiliated experts for this one - i.e. if you work with or for a vitamin brand, I can’t take commentary from your expert about a brand, and I’m actually not interested in being pitched ANY specific product or brand for this one, only expert commentary.)
National Sushi Day is coming up, and I am working on a post on best practices on making sushi at home. These can be products and tools you can order, and tips for how to make this process easier and faster (and fun!) - while also, obviously, delish. Please send your pitches and sushi chef commentary my way!
Fourth of July Store Hours + Stores Open Fourth of July (similar to the Easter and Memorial Day store hours roundup I did for this same outlet). This is for major retailers, look at my versions for other holidays for an idea of what I'm looking for.
I'm also working on - Fourth of July Sales: The Best of the Best - it's an update of last year's story, but in a format more like this like this. Basically, I'm just going to be featuring the retailer and then a blurb about what kind of sale they're doing for Fourth of July. So, instead of being product specific, it'll be more "store specific" so, i'm looking for store-wide sales with promo codes (or department-wide discounts). Looking to include major retailers such as the following, so if you rep any of them, please do reach out! ie: Kohl's, Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, Old Navy, Gap, Casper, Mattress Firm, Ashley HomeStore, Target, Walmart.
I’m done with dads and grads, but I’m now putting out feelers for restaurant chains doing 4th of July freebies/deals/discounts. If you have anything that may be a fit, please send me info on the deal (what you get, when you get it, how you claim it), asap. Thanks :)
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 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 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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