Monday: My thoughts on the Twitter pay-for-verification news, also new job leads and what I'm working on for this week
Also: A reminder that early voting is now open!
This wasn’t my plan for this morning, but I think we need to chat about Twitter for a second.
I’ve tried to not post in this newsletter about my feelings about the whole Elon Musk and Twitter thing but I’ve found it terrifying from the get-go.
But last night’s news that the platform (or, rather, the new owner of the platform) now plans on charging verified (i.e. blue checked) people $20 a month to maintain their “verification” status is something we really need to discuss…because once this change happens, verification officially will be meaningless.
I’m verified on three major social media platforms - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I have been for many years. And, I won’t lie: In the early years of my career, the Twitter verification is the one I coveted most. I really wanted it, and I was so excited when one day I signed on and it had happened.
But: If Twitter starts charging to maintain verification status, I will let go of my verification status. And it has nothing to do with not wanting to pay the monthly subscription fee.
(Though clearly I don’t.)
But it’s about what that money symbolizes. Personally, I’ve always been about the value someone or something brings to the table rather than how much someone can profit. Allowing people to pay to be verified de-values the whole idea of being verified. It makes it about lifting up propaganda and people inflating their value vs. identifying legitimate experts in their field. It’s destroying a resource and turning it into a false flag.
It also makes it a lot harder to tell the legitimate experts from those impersonating them — and in an era of misinformation and dangerous, misleading news and armchair experts, that’s terrifying.
In a not entirely unrelated segue…
Early voting is open in many states, including NY. I took advantage of early voting yesterday and I encourage you to take some time to do so this week too.
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!
TODAY.com: 42 frighteningly good food freebies and discounts for Halloween
Forbes: World-Famous Nobu Has Finally Made Its Atlantic City Debut
HelloGiggles: Great Lip Balms for Fall So You Never Get Those Dreaded Chapped Lips
Food Network: You Can Get Free McDonald’s Fries Every Friday for the Rest of 2022
Clean Plates: 11 Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving Staples Nutritionists Love
HerMoney: The Best Free Or Low-Cost Sleep Apps
HerMoney: How To Do Friendsgiving On A Budget
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.
A reminder: Job leads are ALWAYS free, and always welcome. Please send them at any time and I’ll be happy to share in the next available newsletter. I send this newsletter out six days a week, so there’s lots of opps to connect great jobs with awesome people.
They are hiring at The Local Girl for a managing editor (overseeing TheMontclairGirl.com + TheHobokenGirl.com.) They are looking for someone with a few years of editorial experience managing writers + content. Email email@example.com and check out the complete listing here: https://jobs.thelocalgirl.com/job/107775/managing-editor/ - tell them Aly sent you!
A new online destination owned by global beauty brand, KISS, will be hiring a full-time Web Editor/ Beauty Writer who can assist with both the new website, and also some beauty copywriting duties. It is a full-time position, they are a hybrid work schedule: 3 days in the office, two days work from home. The office is located in Port Washington, New York and on site. Salary is competitive. If anyone is looking for a full-time job, with some beauty writing and copywriting experience email Janene@beautify.tips.
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 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.
Have restaurant chain food deals in store for Veterans Day? Email me!
A reminder: I’m interested in deals other than stuff like free delivery or extra rewards points in the app. Deals should involve a dollar amount off a purchase or a BOGO of some sort or an actual freebie. And they should be available everywhere, not just at a single location. Please also explain how someone claims the deal and exactly how long the deal will be good for.
I’m rounding up beauty/hair products that will immediately up your game for holiday parties (like the kind of thing that that one product will instantly help to make you party ready).
Best Home Organizational Products to Set Up Your New Year Right -- To pitch me for this one, please be sure to include product name, details, specs, cost, and retailer link(s).
Products That Will Actually Make You Excited to Workout: Believe it or not, some people actually DO get excited about workouts!
As promised, I have my first (of more to come...) batch of Forbes holiday gift guides. The topics I am working on in this batch are:
The Best Culinary Gifts For Fans Of The Royal Family: Whether these are items that hold a royal warrant, are those that we know members of the royal family are fans of, or have another royal connection - for example, a wine poured at a royal wedding - I'm interested. This is NOT specifically limited to the BRF either, I'm interested in culinary gifts for fans of all royal families.
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.
The Best Gear For A Starter Kitchen: Think starter appliances, multi-taskers, appliances, utensils, etc, that are good for small spaces.
For any of these, this is how I need to be pitched --
1 - Please start a NEW email, and make clear in the subject line which one you are pitching. Email that email to email@example.com
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!
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 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