Discover more from Aly Walansky's Newsletter
Hump Day Edition: Why journalists love when you share our stories on social, and today's story leads
It's that day again....
Happy Hump Day!
I'm gearing up for a few consulting calls this afternoon, so I'm trying to get an early start today to get my ducks in a row.
Recently, I was hosting a virtual consulting session (more on how you can book one of your own if you scroll down below!) and someone asked why writers are always asking sources to share published story links on social media.
The question being -- is it an ego thing?
No, sorry, it’s not. While there’s no doubt a story of ours being shared a bunch of times and getting lots of comments makes us feel great, there's a bunch of reasons we appreciate the social share after a story is published. And a lot of reasons it's important to us and our editors, there's also a lot of reasons it benefits you -- the source, the product, the destination, what have you.
You share the story, it gets more eyeballs. That's good for you! And that means my story gets more traffic and shares...that's good for me. It means when you pitch me again, I am more likely to get a similar assignment and potentially have another opportunity to place you in a story that fits. The best way to get more assignments from a publication is to have the stories you have just done for them do well. That's just math. Plus, I'll always share your share. So your post will go to my audience too. Even more eyeballs.
Sure, it's a way of acknowledging the inclusion, and that makes everyone feel great. But it's also just a good bit of karma to put out there. And it matters...so much to us.
Case in point: Yesterday, I published a story about spritzes and quoted Bobby Flay. There's no doubt he's a pretty busy guy, right? He quickly shared the story and link on his Instagram stories, tagging me and the outlet the story was published in. Then he shared again on his actual Instagram grid. Tagging me and the outlet once again. And then added the link to his story to his Instagram profile page!
That's above and beyond for ANY expert quote - but considering he's just about the most famous chef that exists in this country currently? With a ton of projects he’s constantly juggling? It's incredible. And so much appreciated.
If Bobby can find the time to share the story, I think Bill, who works at an ice cream shop at the mall, and was quoted about his favorite ice cream flavors this season, does too. (Bill doesn't exist. Or, if he does, I don't know him. So, no shade on Bill!) Especially since we'd imagine Bill doesn't get quite as many press hits, so spreading the news probably would mean extra to him and his business! Everyone wins!
So take that as a tip of the day: Whether I include your celebrity chef in a spritz article or one of my friends includes your blowout brush in a beauty roundup, take the five seconds to share on social. It'll take almost no time out of your or their day, and it'll be of so much value to everyone all around.
These things matter!
Newly published …
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.
For HerMoney, I'm writing a story rounding up ways that you can travel for free this year - yes, free. Like work exchanges, volunteering, house sitting, pet sitting, house swapping, etc. If you are a travel expert who can offer some commentary, I'd love it if you reach out!
What's the deal with sprouted potatoes? - I'm doing a story on sprouted potatoes for Southern Living, and I'd love to know more about them. Are they safe to eat? Why do they sprout? What's the ideal way to remove the sprouts? What's the best way to store them? How do you know when it's time to just toss the potatoes altogether? Obviously, I know the answers to a lot of these questions, but I'd love a chef or food safety expert to weigh in.
For Forbes, I’m rounding up the celebrity chef restaurants that opened in the last year or so or are opening later in 2022 that are especially exciting. If you have any that might be a fit, please email me. I’ll need info about the restaurant, and some images I can use, and would LOVE if I could get a quote or two from the chef/owner. This is not a full-length feature on any restaurant but more of a roundup/list. (Though if any sound especially great I can consider for a more focused story down the line!)
I have a few weeks to play with these two, but that's because I need to compile a whole lot of info for these...
The Best Labor Day Sales to Shop Now - This is similar to the sales roundups I did for July 4th, Father's Day, and so forth. I'm rounding up the best Labor Day sales this year, focusing on major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s etc. When pitching me, please include the details of the sale, if it’s in-store or online, and any cash back offers from RetailMeNot.
Your Guide to Labor Day Store Hours - I'm going to be doing a revamp of this article, about the store hours of major retailers during Labor Day weekend. I want to include the retailers that were in last year’s update (so please email me if you are any of those stores) but will be expanding and adding more in this update. Yes, this is very similar to the hours updates I've done for Memorial Day, July 4th, etc, so you know the drill by now as far as format goes!
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.
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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!
Potential new availability: A few people have reached out to me and asked if I was also open to doing consulting for freelance journalists in addition to the PR consulting sessions I currently do, and I am absolutely considering it. I need to spend some time thinking on what a session like that may look like and be structured, but after 20+ years in the industry, I’ve seen a whole lot change and it may be interesting to share my own experiences with someone just starting out. So, stay tuned!
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 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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