Discover more from Aly Walansky's Newsletter
Hitting the ground running on a busy Monday! Newly published HGGs, job leads, and more.
Reminder: Tomorrow is Election Day. Make sure to plan voting into your day's agenda!
I hope you had a great weekend!
This weekend's Industry Insights edition was focused on how to avoid ending up in the dreaded spam folder. There's so many factors you may not have considered -- from the way you word your email subject to how you format the body of your email, that may set up spam filter red flags. Keeping these in mind can make sure your pitches get to their intended recipient.
It’s another busy Monday, so I’m just going to leave you with a few quick thoughts before delving into today’s rundown. First of all, I just published another holiday gift guide! Scroll down to the newly published section to grab the link, and if you or your client are included, please be awesome and share and tag me and the outlet on social media.
Speaking of social media, who else feels like Twitter of late is like watching a train about to derail, but in slow motion? It’s fascinating and terrifying all at the same time…I said it last week, and I said it again. Elon may say that widespread verification will democratize verification, but it’s actually the opposite. People cannot BUY legitimacy. They cannot BUY validity as an expert in their field. The second that anyone can buy a verification badge, the verification status of everyone who earned it the legitimate way is lost. It’s incredibly dangerous also. People will impersonate celebrities and use this bought-verification-status to defraud their fans. They will use it to spread misinformation about everything from health to elections and have false credentials to back themselves up. Twitter is about to become a very, very dangerous place. (And, yes, I’ve been verified for many years, and I fully plan on relinquishing my verification status and not paying the fee to maintain it. Why would I? It’s meaningless now.)
And don’t buy into the BS it’s about freedom of speech. Freedom of speech cannot be bought for $8 a month. What it is amplification of the voices of those who pay to be amplified. And that is, as usual, a dangerous precedent. The origination of verification was to have some sort of designation for journalists, celebrities, and other public figures to prevent scammers from distributing fake news. If anyone can be verified, what’s next? Spreading fake medical stats? Fake stock info? Fake global conflict reports?
A reminder: Tomorrow is Election Day. I voted early (last week, actually) but whether you vote early or on the official Election Day, it’s just REALLY important for the survival of democracy (and, well, humanity), that you vote. Make a plan today.
A reminder of my November Friendsgiving promotions
1 - I've partnered up with my dear friend Lisa Richards at RPZL for a really exciting Friendsgiving promotion. For the ENTIRE month of November, any subscriber (free OR paid) of both mine and Amber's substacks will be able to get a $25 blowout at RPZL (at the legendary Plaza Hotel in NYC!) with code FRIENDSGIVING25. These are not only my dear friends, but also -- it's just a really incredible blowout. In fact, RPZL is the first monogamous hair relationship this head of hair has ever had, and I am sure once you have your STEAL of a deal $25 blowout, you'll feel the same and be addicted!
2 - To keep the spirit of Friendsgiving going, for the entire month of November I'm going to offer a steal of a deal of my own - 50% off an annual paid subscription. These annual subscriptions give you a variety of added value, from my weekly Industry Insights weekend newsletters to monthly virtual AMA sessions (and more!). You can upgrade your subscription beginning today at this special rate.
A blind item - A friend of mine is looking for a ghost writer to work on a well-known RD's book. If you are, or have someone, qualified - let me know and I'll connect you with them personally.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I’m working on this HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Gift ideas for your friend who has serious wanderlust. Send me your pitches!
GIFT GUIDE: Products That Will Actually Make You Excited to Workout.
Celebrity chefs share their #1 tip for saving time on Thanksgiving meal prep. I’m looking for chefs to weigh in on their top tip on saving time and effort on prepping the biggest dinner of the year. I’m looking for big chefs for this one (like those who we may see on Food Network, etc). Please email me if you have anyone!
The Best Gifts For Seafood Lovers: I'm looking for both shippable seafood gifts, but also spices, kitchen tools, accessories related to preparing, cooking, and serving fish.
A reminder: This is how I need to be pitched for gift guides --
1 - Please start a NEW email, and make clear in the subject line which one you are pitching. Email that email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2 - Tell me the name of the product, URL where it is sold (if it's sold at several retailers, feel free to share links to a few), and price, and a brief description
3 - Include a LINK to a high res image (and please clearly mark and designate those photos)
All items pitched must be currently in stock and have online retail and be shippable nationwide.
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 (This summer, 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!
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 spoke to our team to help us all gain a better understanding of the media side of our business. Whether it was the best ways to pitch media or understanding the editorial process of content, she gave us tremendous insight into a vital relationship for mutual success. We were thrilled and our team came away with not only a deeper understanding, but with greater empathy for our colleagues in the media market. Definitely would recommend Aly for any agency looking to better work with their media counterparts.” Dawn Britt, Founder/Managing Partner/CEO of OneSeven Agency
“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 email@example.com to get something on my schedule for this fall.
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!)
have a great day <3