Friday: A rundown of my (15...!) pending assignments going into the weekend + some thoughts on decluttering your life in the new year
Reminder: You can still RSVP for our NYC happy hour next week!
Apologies for (once again!) the lateness of the hour…Lily was sleeping on the job.
Actually, true story - I took a bit of a detour this morning '“on the way” to work.
In Aly-is-a-creature-of-habit news, I never (for going on decades now), miss the bi-annual Shoprite Can Can sale, where stuff like canned tomatoes and canned beans are at their cheapest prices of the year, especially if you buy by the case. I’m all about stocking up on this versatile, affordable, long-shelf-life pantry essentials and using them all yearlong, and this is the best time to buy them. So, that’s how I started my Friday. (And you’ll see the results in many, many, Instagram videos to come!)
I’m back now. Congrats to us, though. We survived the first workweek of 2023! And it was a doozy…
I’m going to get into today’s pending assignments in a minute (there’s much of the same as yesterday’s list, but a few additions — including a new Southern Living assignment), but as this is the first week of the year and a lot of us are in planning and organization mode (or as I like to put it life administration), I wanted to talk a bit about how this (maybe even THIS WEEKEND) is the perfect time to declutter your life and be organized as you embark on this new year.
Side note about pitching: Please remember to use the email email@example.com and start a NEW email thread whenever responding to anything in this email. It’s the best way to make sure your email is received, seen, and properly sorted.
As I mentioned the other day, I treated myself to a privacy screen going into the new year so that I’d feel a bit more organized when doing virtual consulting sessions and Zoom events. Nothing says disorder like trying to sound like an expert (in well, almost anything) while your bed is behind you. But I think that’s a small part of the bigger picture of how decluttering your space can help you be in a better and more productive mindset this year. Your workspace may be a dedicated room in your home or it could be, like me, the loveseat in your studio apartment. What matters is getting rid of anything you don’t use or need anymore.
But decluttering your workspace also applies to your DIGITAL workspace. This is a great time to get rid of those apps and documents and photos on your phone and computer you don’t need or use or want anymore. All these achieve is making your screens look messy and be harder to navigate and organize. As we’re teetering on the edge of tax time, now couldn’t be a better time to get your life in a less cluttered space.
Look at it like cleaning out your closet. You have no need for anything you haven’t worn or used in a year. Same thing for the clutter in your workspace - both physically and digitally.
Now, about that to-do pile…
Once you get organized, you are able to set your agenda — for the week, the month, the year. You can’t really do it until you’ve trimmed that fat from your workspace, but now that you are organized, make that list. Prioritize tasks and stay organized. This is when you can re-organize your digital filling system, too. We don’t need a ton of papers and folders anymore. We have Google Drive, DropBox, Google Docs, and so many other digital options keeping our life together. Thank GOD we’re passed the point in life where we need to shuffle through the 30 folders we got this week to find that one sheet we needed.
Of course, digitally we need to be organized even within that organization. I get as many as 1,000 emails in a day (especially when I do brilliant things like share 6 new gift guide assignments at the same time…), creating labels, folders, and dedicated filters helps tremendously. Using a filter system helps us to prioritize emails, and answer or file them accordingly.
More on this soon, but let’s get to today’s work!
I’m co-hosting a happy hour next week on January 12 in NYC with my friends Amber Katz and Lisa Richards — it’ll be in the Chelsea area, and there’ll be free cocktails and lots of fun to be had. We have a bit of room left and I’d love if some of my local subscribers can make it out. Email me (or DM any of us on Instagram) for more details as far as location and time and we’ll get you added to the guest list!
Newly published or freshly updated
Since people are often asking about the status of stories from a while ago, and I only share stories in this newsletter that were published or updated in the current week, I have created a list of my author pages at various publications to which I contribute. Bookmark it and make your life a bit easier.
This list will live on my Substack URL and be updated as necessary. That way, you can see what I’m doing at any publication, at any time, from types of stories to general structure of stories to even volume and frequency of my content at that outlet.
This can also help you to target pitching a bit better. That makes your job easier, and mine too!
HelloGiggles: 9 New Products That Will Help You Be Healthier in 2023
Yahoo Life: How long do leftovers last? Experts share tips for safely storing food
Yahoo Life: Air fryer 101: Everything you need to know about cooking with (and maintaining) an air fryer
Forbes: Impress Your Guests This Season With Tableside Cocktails
The Kitchn: Starbucks Is Adding a New Cold Brew to the Winter Menu and Bringing Back a Fan-Favorite Bakery Item
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social media shares! Please remember to tag @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.
Please remember when pitching me: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
Please consult my industry insights guides on submitting expert commentary, sending emails that will catch a journalist’s attention, how to craft pitches journalists will say ‘yes’ to, and the right and wrong way to submit photos, if you need any extra guidance before sending your pitches.
National Pizza Week is coming up — I’m looking for chain restaurants that are offering special deals and discounts in honor of the occasion. If you have any to pitch me, please email me the restaurant, the deal, and how to claim it. If there’s a social media link to the deal, would love that as well. ASAP please.
Invited To Your First Passover Seder? Here's What To Bring - Obviously, for this story I need to make clear that you need to ask your host because of the different traditions and levels of keeping kosher. But I’d love an etiquette expert, one who is familiar with Jewish tradition, to answer a few questions as far as questions to ask, expectations, etc.
I’m working on a story on how to plan a budget-friendly romantic Valentine’s Day date night. I’d love experts to weigh in! Open to products too if they fit the theme of the story.
I’ve just been assigned FIVE new Valentine’s Day gift guides. (My inbox is already shuddering in fear…). The topics are:
The best gifts for a romantic dinner at home
The best luxury seafood boxes
The best global specialty ingredients for the culinary traveler
The best aphrodisiac gifts (remember, these must be food/ingredient related in some way)
The best interactive gifts for couples who love to cook together
For all of these guides (and honestly, most guides for any outlet, I would prefer all pitches be sent in the following format):
Name of product
link where sold, price
Description of product
LINK to high res image
*please please make sure that an item is not discontinued, and is currently available and in stock to ship and arrive before Valentine’s Day before pitching me. Sound obvious? I got a LOT of holiday pitches that did not fit this qualification!
I’m also working on, for Forbes:
Romantic wines to pair with your V-Day dinner: Whether you are planning a surf and turf or a sexy pasta night, these are the wines you need for the biggest date night of the year. To pitch me a wine, be sure to include retail links, a LINK to an image, and a description.
Romantic cocktails to enjoy for Valentine's Day: I’m looking for cocktails that are currently on the menu at bars/restaurants anywhere nationwide, either as a special for the season or a permanent menu item. Please include name of drink, where available, description, and a quote from a bartender/chef/owner about the drink. Will also need a LINK to an image of the drink for this one.
Places online where you can order a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner to be shipped to your door. Self-explanatory. Has to be shippable as this needs to be something available to all who order it and not just a local takeout thing.
The Best Galentine's Day Gifts for your Besties: I’m updating this story I did last year (so if you represent a product that is in last year’s guide, please let me know if there’s any changes to it as far as price, availability, etc). But I’ll also be adding a dozen or so new products that are also great gift ideas for your bestie this year (in the same format as last year’s, if you want to use that as a guide when pitching.)
The Best Affordable Valentine's Day Gifts: I’m also working on this guide to affordable Valentine’s Day gifts. Trying to stick with under $100 for these items.
Sexy underthings to gift yourself this Valentine's Day - we all deserve to feel confident and sexy, whether you have a partner or not.
Looking to up your affiliate marketing game?
Affiliate marketing is complicated, and it seems that the landscape keeps changing. If you are looking to be prepared for gift guide season and all other shopping-related content, you may want to try the 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...
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 (Recently I even 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!
Have a great day!
Omg the Can Can sale! I grew up in the tri-state area and totally forgot about that sale and the ads! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!