Aly's Newsletter: TGIF edition
Cheers to food, fun, and friendship -- and Fridays!
Congrats on surviving this wild week and making it to Friday!
I had a meeting yesterday afternoon about an upcoming project I'm really excited about. I'm not allowed to share more details quite yet (but I will very soon!), but I can say it involves some of my favorite things -- gorgeous cocktails, and bringing people together to enjoy said cocktails.
But what I can share is that I made it home from said meeting (which was in the city), with two minutes to spare before logging into a Zoom meeting. I was telling some friends last night, I feel like working a full day, going into the city for a meeting, and then coming back for a Zoom, was something of a triumph of the hybrid digital/IRL experience, at least from my own personal perspective. And that sort of inspired what I wanted to talk a bit about today.
Everyone saw that I was a huge fan of virtual events for the duration of lockdown. They made a really lonely, scary time feel a little less scary and a little less lonely. It was also a really powerful way to stay connected to one another. And to this day, I still very much enjoy these sorts of events and see their value.
But: I've also been a proponent of not necessarily seeing the (praise the heavens) return of real meetings and real events as a replacement for digital, but rather something that can co-exist in a beautiful way in the media ecosystem.
Both types of events are super valuable in their own way, and I've been to some incredibly successful (and fun, because honestly, that's what we REALLY want out of an event, right?), events both virtual and IRL of late -- full of amazing people, good food and drinks, and an experience that has you leaving with a stronger grasp of the product/destination/concept being showcased than you had before you walked in (or dialed in).
I don't want either method of doing things to replace the other. But I love the idea of both virtual and IRL events/meetings/dinners existing and both being an option for whatever place a person's life and schedule happens to be in at the moment. And I hope to talk about that in more depth soon in an upcoming edition of my weekend industry insights newsletter.
I have a bunch of stories I'm working on, and have to go back into the city later today for a tasting at a restaurant I'm pretty excited about (it's going to be an oysters and martinis kind of Friday, which we all know is the best kind of Friday), so let's get right into today's story opps...
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.
Complete Guide To Keto
The story I was working on for this print magazine regarding keto meal planning is all wrapped up. Thanks for your help! Now, I'm working on two side bars for that same story -- one is on keto meal delivery services, and one is on keto bars (as in bars to eat, not bars to drink at). These should be ones we can find at major grocery stores, or on Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, etc.
I'm crowdsourcing vegans!
For this story, I'm rounding up the Best Plant-Based Meats for The Grill, According to Vegans -- instead of interviewing nutritionists/dietitians, I'm interested this time in just which grilling products vegans actually seriously *love*. SO I'm doing a crowdsource: if you are a vegan, know a vegan, etc, please have them email me! And I'd LOVE to hear from some plant-based chefs for this as well. For people who aren't famous - but are regular folks who are currently plant-based, I'd love to know how long they've been plant based. So an example:
Aly W, a writer who lives in Brooklyn, has been vegan for 0 years. "My favorite vegan meat is actual steak," she says. "Because I could go vegan if my life depended on it."
Also, just kidding. Please only respond if you are currently plant based and not just being obnoxious like me.
This just in: Working on 3 new stories for June for RetailMeNot:
1. The Best Father's Day Sales to Shop Now: I'm looking for the biggies for this one, places like Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ancestry, 23andMe, Fitbit IF they are throwing a sale. I'm looking for retail sales only for this one (NOT restaurants - I have a different story at a different outlet for that). TO pitch for this one, please include what's on sale, how to shop it, the promo code.
2. 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.
3. Stores That Let You Bring In Your Old Clothes for Recycling - quite simply, I'm going to round up retailers that let you bring (or mail) in your clothes for recycling. To pitch me for this one, please send me detailed instructions about how to take advantage of these services, so if the retailer gives any kind of reward (discount? coupon?) if you bring clothing in for recycling? and a link to learn more (whatever URL makes the most sense for the reader to go for more info).
For Today.com, I'm working on the following stories:
I'm rounding up restaurant deals/freebies for National Donut Day (which is the first week in June)
I'm also going to be rounding up Father's Day and graduation related deals/freebies at chain restaurants (so if you happen to have those now feel free to send ahead!)
If pitching me restaurant deals/discounts for any of these holidays, please be sure to include what the deal is, how to claim the deal, and any disclaimers, as well as exactly how long it lasts and where it’s good. (I run into A LOT of last minute changes on these deals, so please be sure what you are pitching me is actually the deal being offered before proceeding…it helps us BOTH down the line.)
I am working on a bunch of Father’s Day gift guides. My topics are:
Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Foodie Gifts For A Dad Who Loves History -- This can go in a lot of different directions. Perhaps it's a food or spirit with some incredible history behind it (tell me what that history is) - but maybe it's also a food/drink that celebrates a moment in history, like a commemorative bottle of wine or whiskey from some historic event.
Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For The Aspirational Home Chef
Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Martini Gifts
To pitch me for any of these guides, please email the following:
Which guide you are pitching (there seems to be some confusion on this. I got a lot of emails responding to “which guide?” with Forbes. I got that much! I want to know WHICH of the Forbes guides above you are pitching. There’s 3 different ones!
Name of product
link where sold, price
LINK to high-res image (no attachments please)
Unfortunately, due to the volume of responses I receive, if you do not have all these components, you cannot be considered (and if you think a pitch is just emailing me a stack of URLs, then you really can’t be considered).
To pitch me for ANY of these stories, please email me at email@example.com (and start a new thread, please!).
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!
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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