Monday: A refresh on the right and wrong way to send photos. Also: Job leads and what I'm working on for this week
Tonight's air fryer recipe will be stuffed peppers. Be sure to tune in!
My apologies for the lateness of today's email.
Today is quickly developing into something of a tsunami of a Monday and the morning has somewhat gotten away from me.
(Is it 5 pm yet? Anywhere???)
As today's tip, I'd love to revisit the topic of sending images for potential inclusion in stories. This weekend, I was working on two image-heavy stories. One was a cocktail roundup, the other was a gift guide. Both had similar image issues, so I was hopeful that giving a quick refresh may avoid these issues going forward.
1. If we request an image, that means we need an image: I'm always deliberately super specific in the deliverables for my stories, and if I mention a high-res image is necessary, that means -- yes, it is necessary.
2. The method of sending. Generally, I ask for images to be sent via link. Dropbox, Google Drive, whatever. This is for a specific reason. If you are receiving hundreds of emails in a day, the weight of those emails do add up. The last thing you want is for my inbox to reach size capacity and then your next pitch to bounce because of it. So, please send images in the method I request.
3. Avoid the impulse to send a gallery. It happens very often. I click on a link, expecting to see one cocktail or one set of towels, and instead see a gallery of 400 photos. This is of course very time-consuming, but also ups the chances of choosing the wrong photo. Send one or two photos. Not 400.
4. Label. MANY photos come through with titles such as "image" or "screen capture" - if you are dealing with many photos and many stories at a time, this can cause confusion and complications. And, again, the wrong photo in the wrong place. It's always best to label your photo what it is. If it's a person, make it their name. If it's a dish at a restaurant, make it dish_restaurant.jpg. It really is that simple!
Tonight I’ll be making air fryer stuffed peppers - and they take only about 10 minutes, total. Stay tuned and tune into my Instagram tonight around 6 pm to watch me prep the recipe live!
My FAVE lip balms by Clean & Pure are offering an Early Black Friday deal - get 25% off an 8-pack with code QUEENBEE25. I’ve written about these balms before and this is a killer deal for them.
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!
Eat This, Not That: 7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Make in Your Air Fryer
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.
For Southern Living, I'm working on two new stories this week:
Can You Freeze Sour Cream?
Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
For both of these, I'd love chefs/food safety experts, etc, to weigh in regarding why you can/can't, and factors to consider. Over email is ideal!
I’m rounding up Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less. This story will be a gallery of dinner recipes that follow the Mediterranean diet. If pitching me this, I’m looking for recipes that exist online on food blogs, TikTok, Instagram, etc, that I can link to, please don’t send me PDFs from someone’s book or the back of some brand’s box of pasta or a recipe a chef is submitting just for this purpose. That’s all rather nice but it’s not the assignment. I need something that exists online that I can link to. (Yes, I know I sound repetitive but you should see the responses I get even with the most specific of guidelines!)
Before pitching me, make sure you know what this diet is so you know if this recipe applies (you’d be surprised…), and please do not just send me a stack of links. Explain why you think this recipe works with this diet, focusing on the foods, nutrients, etc.
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!
Thanksgiving-inspired cocktails available at bars and restaurants: I’m rounding up fun and unique cocktails that are on restaurant and bar menus this season in honor of Thanksgiving or the season. These can’t be from a book/website/TikTok, etc, but must be on the menu and available to be ordered somewhere. If you have one to pitch, please include the name of the cocktail, high res image of the cocktail, where served (city, state, name of restaurant, URL of restaurant), description, and quote from owner or bartender/bar manager/chef/etc. A reminder that, as with gift guides, an item can not be included if all the necessary components are not included at time of pitching.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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