Aly's Thursday Newsletter: Newly published stories, job leads, and a small way to start the day off right.
This is starting out as an unexpectedly good morning for me. It’s really the little things that make all the difference, you guys.
Black Seed Bagels opened a new location near me in Brooklyn yesterday, and they offered to send me breakfast this morning to celebrate the news.
As I’m someone who RARELY does takeout or delivery - and hardly ever breakfast (my go-to each morning is coffee and egg whites I make in my own little kitchen) - breakfast arriving felt like a uniquely special treat.
That is one of their classic sandwiches, a bagel with pastrami smoked salmon, a light smear of scallion cream cheese, pickled green tomato and red onion. So good! (At my core, I’ll always be a Jewish girl from Brooklyn!)
They also sent me tuna salad for me to put away for lunch - exactly the way I mentioned earlier this week in a newsletter that I love it. And a cold brew with oat milk and Splenda - that didn’t spill in the bag (my fear with any sort of beverage delivery, to be honest!). So, not only am I grateful and happy this morning, but pretty impressed with their attention to detail!
What's on TV?
There's the cutest new rom-com on Hulu. It's name is Maggie, and it's light and fun and I'm so into it that I binged almost the whole series in one night last night (highly recommend!).
The value of breaking your day into time slots
Today's productivity tip may sound a bit type-A personality of me, but I really have found a lot of success in breaking my day into time slots. This can be whatever you want it to be, from hour blocks, to half hour blocks, to even "first thing in the morning" "before lunch" "after lunch" etc.
This helps me with scheduling, and also lets me have an idea of how long things will take when I make that to-do list. But it also helps me to prioritize. I tend to have my most energy and focus first thing in the morning, as that coffee sets in, so that's when I usually reserve the harder/busier/extra focus-required things. By later in the afternoon (or what I call the "post General Hospital" block), that's when I'm going to do stuff like setting up a marinade for my dinner while listening in on a Zoom or answering some emails. But everyone is different. I have some friends that focus best later in the day, so their time blocks may appear pretty reverse of mine!
Newly published stories:
Clean Plates: The Best Kirkland Products: These Costco Store Brand Items Are Seriously High Quality
Food Network: Subway Makes Major Menu Change for the First Time in 60 Years
RetailMeNot: Free Beauty Gifts With Purchase Deals to Shop
RetailMeNot: A Guide To 65+ College Student Discounts
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social media shares tagging @alywalansky and the outlet. Thanks!
Eleven Six PR, a NYC-based travel, hospitality and lifestyle PR firm, is currently looking for an Account Supervisor to join its growing agency. Clients include hotels, resorts, hospitality brands and destinations around the world as well as tour operators, travel services, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs. The right candidate has a passion for travel, a strong knowledge of the travel/lifestyle/food media landscape and a keen eye for digital strategy as the agency runs the social media accounts and influencer relations for an array of their clients. Additional information about the job description can be found here.
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 email@example.com - 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.
1- Things Nutritionists Actually Order from Panera: Would love RDs to weigh in on various items CURRENTLY on Panera menu (don't tell me about discontinued menu items) that nutritionists order and why they are good choices. Feel free to mix and match if, say, you like to have a soup and salad together or something. But be specific, lots of details, please!
2 - Zero-Prep Products That Make A *Perfect* Healthy Lunch: We have to pick our battles sometimes, right? I'm working on a mix-and-match story stuff you get at the grocery store that you don't have to chop or cook or do anything but open and eat, like this Trader Joe's story I did but stuff you can get at Publix/Kroger/Wegmans or whatever the regional chain you favor. Would love RD input on this!
3 - Best Trader Joe's Items for Easy, Healthy Summer Entertaining - this is very similar to the TJ's story linked above but I'm focusing on summer entertaining - those cheese and charcuterie plates, fun olive or pepper blends, interesting dips, etc. If you are an RD who wants to weigh in (and FINE to weigh in on multiple stories), please reach out!
National Mac and Cheese Day is coming up. I'm looking for bars/restaurants nationwide that have some rather unique/creative spin on mac and cheese on their menu. If you have something (must currently exist on the menu and be available to order), please send me:
Name of dish
Where it is (name of restaurant, city, state, URL)
Quote from chef about dish
High-res image of dish
I’m 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 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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I am so making these air fried tortellini! That's genius!
Also, fixing my posture so I sit upright in my chair with feet on the ground. Love all these tips, thanks!
Yum! I could never say no to a breakfast bagel sandwich!