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Monday: How to (quickly!) tidy up your inbox, and everything I'm working on going into this week
This weekend, I had a lot of “life administration” tasks at hand (that’s actually an inside joke of a term born in a text thread with Alice and Jill during last season’s holiday gift guide rush — the message being, life administration is all that OTHER stuff you have to do in life other than your technical job, yet still feels like something of a job in its own right.)
This weekend’s aforementioned life administration involved a bit of an inbox tidy up. My friends are often HORRIFIED when they get a glimpse at my phone’s home screen and see the unread messages I have in my box at a given time…and it often can feel something like quick sand when trying to sort through that pile up.
But tidying up your inbox and getting rid of all the “extra” — the stuff you don’t need for work or for your personal life — can be incredibly freeing. So, here’s some of the things I tried in my own inbox this weekend that actually did end up freeing up some space. I encourage it to try it with your own as well:
You know how every Black Friday you get an email from every store you ever bought a single pair of socks from? That’s because you are sharing your email address and opting in to their mailers. It’s easy to opt-out, too: Right in Gmail, click “reply” on any of those emails, and you’ll see an “unsubscribe” prompt. There’s also services to check out, such as Unroll.me, which makes it simple unsubscribe from a bunch of email lists at once.
Use those filters. You can create a filter searching for, lets say, any email that contains the word “unsubscribe” - and get rid a whole bunch of opt-in newsletters and promotional materials at once. But you can also sort by subject, sender, attachments, and more.
Again, on Gmail. Check out your “Promotions” tab - that’s probably MOSTLY advertisements, but give it a quick scroll just to be sure. Chances are you will be able to block delete entire changes.
Use labels/folders/categories. This is a BIG help for me year-round. I love to drag and drop emails to folders to sort through later. For example, this time of year, if someone emails me my 1099, I’ll drag it to my “tax stuff” label (very formal title, I know.) It helps you stay organized, though. If someone pitches me for Mother’s Day gift guides and I’m still in Valentine’s mode, dragging and dropping to a Mother’s Day TBA label can help future-me.
You can also use folders as a sort of personal agenda. For example, you may want to shape your week using folders - as in — handle “today” or “this week” or even “this month”.
Use keywords. If you are like me and have, say, 12,000 unread emails (just throwing that # out there…!), using keywords can help you for searching, organized, and deleting. You may want to search for, say, no-reply email addresses, or the word “sale” — that helps you to sort that big mountain into smaller hills to be dealt with.
Try all that (and I promise, it won’t take very long!), and you may just feel like you have a bit of room to breathe next time you open your email. It’ll clear up some super crucial real estate as well — that’d be your Google storage limit!
Anyway…onto this new week!
This week will be sort of flurry of a week because while I’m going to be wrapping up Valentine’s content (at last!), I’m also headed out my first work trip of 2023 on Wednesday. (And I’m SO excited.)
The Valentine’s content keeps on churning out, and here’s a few related pieces that went live over the weekend… (More in the newly published pieces section below!)
And also a piece regarding this OTHER occasion, that seems to be occurring the same weekend as Valentine’s Day.
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!
RetailMeNot: 13 Purr-fect Valentine’s Day Gifts for Pets
Southern Living: Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
Clean Plates: 8 Costco Foods Nutritionists Love for Valentine’s Day
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 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 Today.com, I’m rounding up deals at chains for both National Pizza Day (2/9), and Valentine’s Day. This isn’t simply that you are doing a heart-shaped pizza or a special menu item, but that you are doing some sort of specific deal or discount — think BOGO, freebie, discount code, etc. If you have anything, please email me the name of the chain, where it is located (if it’s not national), what the deal is, and how to claim it.
I’m working on an explainer on how to preheat your air fryer. Clearly, I’m very aware of how to preheat an air fryer - I use it nightly! But, I’d love an air fryer expert of some sort (other than me, haha!), to weigh in on times they would preheat and times they would not, and why. And, also, the benefits of preheating in certain recipes.
For Clean Plates, I'm rounding up Trader Joe’s Foods Nutritionists Love for Winter Meal Prep - I'd love nutritionists and RDs to weigh in on those foods available at Trader Joe's they love, why they love them, how they use them for meal prep, and what makes them a great choice.
Here’s what I’m currently working on for Valentine’s Day:
The best gifts for a romantic dinner at home
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!
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!