Monday: Here's what I thought was the most successful commercial during the big game (and it teaches us a lesson about branding and celebrity tie-ins).
Also: Here's the new stories I'm sourcing for this week!
Hope everyone is recovering from this weekend’s festivities. I did not attend any Super Bowl parties because I was doing something far more important to me — celebrating one of my oldest friend’s birthdays.
We had a blast over Italian food and cocktails, and honestly, it was a great way to set the tone for this rather wild week.
While I did not watch the game, I did greatly appreciate the commercials! Here was my favorite:
This weekend in my Industry Insights edition, I touched on some pitching lessons we can learn from Super Bowl commercials. Here’s another: It’s SO important that we takeaway from a pitch that it is about the product or brand and not about the celebrity tie-in.
This Dunkin’ commercial was so fun because it tied in Ben’s long-discussed affection for the brand and still made the brand the star of the commercial. A lot of other commercials last night could not say that. Think quickly - the John Travolta Grease-themed T-Mobile commercial, do you instantly remember it was a T-Mobile commercial? Or just that it was Grease themed? And the commercial where Steve Martin gives a dog a nose job — so fun, right? But do you instantly remember it was a commercial for Pepsi?
It’s important to think about, because we see this all the time in pitching. I’ll be asked if I want to interview a reality tv star about their partnership with some food product. Despite this person having no particular expertise or experience in that product or cooking or entertaining. Ultimately, it becomes about the celebrity and not about the product, and that’s a disservice both to you and to the reader. Consider celebrity tie-ins that make sense, both for the pitch and the brand. Make it the brand and the product that is the “star” of the pitch and not the, well, star involved.
Just my two cents.
I have a few new stories I’m sourcing for going into this week, so lets get to it! (Also, I have a slow cooker gumbo brewing right now and it smells AMAZING. Will share photos on my Instagram later today!)
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!
In case you missed it, I was a guest on a podcast last week. Check it out here — I share some easy-to-follow tips on how emerging brands can get the attention of busy editors.
Speaking of podcasts, I did the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ podcast last month (I ADORE Lexie Smith!), and you can still catch it here. We chatted at length about pitching, the ever-changing landscape of the editorial process, and more.
(Also, if you host a podcast that has anything to do with media/PR/writer content or food/bev/travel content and are interested in me coming on as a guest, I’d love if you reach out!)
Clean Plates: The Healthiest Store-Bought Chicken Soups (That Taste Like Grandma’s)
Today.com: Where to score sweet food deals and freebies on Valentine's Day
The Kitchn: You Can Get Free Cracker Barrel for a Year If You Get Engaged This Valentine’s Day
HelloGiggles: 8 Sexy Underthings To Gift Yourself This Valentine’s Day
Food Network: Coca-Cola Releases New Abstractly Named Flavor, Move, with Rosalía
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.
I’m beginning to round up Cinco de Mayo food deals at chain restaurants. I’m not looking for free delivery or reward point type of deals at this time but more BOGOs, freebies, discounts, etc. Please be sure to tell me how to claim the deal (i.e. coupon code, downloading app, etc) when responding.
Those who read Prince Harry’s “Spare” probably remember the part of the book where Meghan hosts a dinner party at Nottingham Cottage and the recipe she prepares involves parchment paper salmon. For this piece, I’m going to be recreating this recipe and chatting a bit about this particular moment in the story - but meanwhile I’d love if a chef could answer a few questions over email about preparing parchment paper salmon at home (not necessarily this particular recipe but in general). Thanks!
St. Patrick’s Day is just a few weeks away and I’m looking for fun cocktails and desserts that restaurants and bars nationwide have on the menu or as a special in honor of the occasion. If you have anything brewing, I’d love if you could send me:
1 - name of dish or drink, where it is served (name of restaurant, city, state, URL)
2 - description
3 - quote about it from bartender/chef/owner (don’t forget to tell me the name of the person you are quoting)
4 - LINK to image
Also for Forbes, with Purim around the corner, I’m looking for fun Purim-themed desserts, treats, and cocktails. This can be inventive spins on hamantaschen, or anything else brewing. Please use the same format as the story above when pitching!
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!
My favorite was Dunkin's , too! I was disappointed in the one with Pete, John and Brie ... maybe too much expectation?
Such salient points about the celebrity tie-ins! Completely agree that I didn't recall that Steve Martin's was a Pepsi commercial, etc.