Aly's Newsletter: Musings On A Monday Edition
This afternoon, I had a really fun virtual meeting with one of my favorite wine and spirits agencies, and the topic of press trips came up.
While I’m not going to share our personal conversations (though we had a blast and I’m still giggling!), I did want to share a bit of advice I gave them that I think is important to share as people start to plan events more and more in the coming months.
Any time I’m invited on a press trip, if the invitation gets to the point that it is a fit for my outlets and my coverage opportunities, and I am considering attending, I always take a moment to ask if they are looking for other writers who may be interested in attending.
Of course, these would be writers of the same genre - I’d not recommend, say, an automative writer friend for a wine press trip. But I would recommend a friend who covers a related topic.
This is a two-fold benefit - the trip is more fun and interesting for ME if I have a friend there. (Consider the ROI of such a thing — valuable work research and friend time at the same time. Especially since it’s such a rare joy to see friends these days.) But it’s also great for the host because the whole energy of a trip will change if the people on a trip already know each other and enjoy traveling together. (Cue those awkward moments when that is NOT the case!)
I also do this whenever invited to an event, be it virtual or otherwise. It’s made the last year, when I spent so much time isolating all by myself and feeling so incredibly lonely, so much more tolerable, knowing at the end of the day, I might end up on a virtual wine tasting with a friend who lives 3 hours away, or 3000 miles away, and for that brief hour — none of us were alone, and in a way, we were all together.
So, consider that, both for making your trip/event more fun, but also more interactive and engaging. We’ve talked a lot in here about video shaming on Zoom calls, and I can tell you a true fact - we’re all much more likely to engage and chat on Zooms if our friends are also on the call!
Enough of that! Here's what I'm working on right now:
For Today.com, I'm rounding up food and drink deals at chain restaurants in honor of Labor Day/Labor Day weekend. If you have anything, please email me asap with what the deal is, and how to claim it, and exactly how long the deal is good. I need to publish this tomorrow AM - so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by EOD today for this one. (URGENT)
For CheapTickets.com, I'm rounding up common travel pitfalls, and how to avoid them. I'm looking for expert to address things like how to avoid getting sick from street food (people always say look for the busiest vendors), how to avoid getting overcharged by a taxi (make sure the meter’s on, ask for estimate before you get in), how to safely partake in nightlife when you’re traveling alone (sign up for a pub crawl tour, just for example), being wary of fake free public WiFi hubs set up hackers, taxi driver or “helpful” local telling you the attraction you want to see is closed, offering an alternative. I'm interested in input on these and other common travel pitfalls, and would love experts to weigh in - we're gearing this one toward younger or less experienced travelers. Deadline 9/5.
For RetailMeNot, I'm rounding up Top Free Gifts With Purchase from Beauty Brands - for any, please be sure to include relevant details, important fine print and basically the knowledge necessary to claim this freebie (It's actually an update of this older story, if that is helpful as far as formatting and the type of stuff to pitch, etc). By Friday, emails only.
4. For Forbes.com, I'm rounding up great Chiantis in honor of National Chianti Day. By tomorrow afternoon please.
Here's some stories that have gone live in the last few days:
I’ll be in Greenville, South Carolina Sept 17-20 (my first time there and I’m so excited!) for Euphoria.
If you are one of my chef/spirits friends who will also be there, please drop me a note so we can connect IRL! (Otherwise, you’ll likely to find me wherever the biscuits are.)
Have a great day!
PS: Those who follow me on Instagram know I often cook live on my Instagram stories. Today will be a Meatless Monday edition - I’m going to make my famous air fryer stuffed peppers - but a completely vegetarian version. I’ve never done this before, so they may be terrible. Come join me!