Monday: Newly published Father's Day gift guides + pending assignments on this holiday week!
Also: Today's question of the day hits on how to up the attendance rate at your next event.
Happy Monday of what is sure to be a rather abbreviated week for many of us!
Many of us probably have cookouts or BBQs planned for the long weekend, and in advance of that, we’re probably planning our grocery lists right now. If there’s plant-based guests taking part in the festivities this weekend, you may want to check out my latest piece for Clean Plates, wherein I interviewed some vegans about their favorite plant-based “meats” for the grill. They’d know!
Other newly published content since Friday’s email includes new Father’s Day gift guides for both RetailMeNot and Forbes - and more to come in the coming days. Scroll down to the section below and click through to read the stories and see if your clients were included (as always, SUPER appreciate any social media shares, always).
And now today’s question of the day!
This actually popped up in my inbox this morning — someone had an event scheduled and was seeing a rash of last-minute cancellations. They were trying to still make the event the best it could be — with a good turnout, of course!
I gave the following advice: Offer attendees an uber voucher. While this isn’t always a game changer, it’s very much a factor when on the fence about able to attend an event and can be a deciding factor in many situations. I avoid taking the subway these days for several reasons, and a ride share to the average press dinner or event can cause me as much as $50 each way some nights, depending on timing, location, and if there’s any sort of surge situation. That’s a prohibitive expense and something we can’t make a habit of. However, if an event offers a ride share gift card or code or voucher of some sort, it makes it a lot easier to say yes (of course, if it fits into my schedule, interests, and scope of potential coverage!).
Hope that is helpful to anyone in the midst of planning an event and seeing a similar issue. And remember, you can send me questions on any topic, any day, and I’ll be happy to share an answer here.
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: Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad
Clean Plates: The Best Plant-Based Meats for the Grill, According to Vegans
Taste of Home: Chick-fil-A Salad Dressings Have Just Rolled Out to Grocery Stores
Runner’s World: How Your Prerun Fueling Affects Energy Levels
YourTango: How To Use Dry Shampoo The Right Way In Between Washes
Mashed.com: Tips For Making The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg
Forbes.com: Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Cookbooks To Add To His Collection
Forbes.com: Father's Day Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For The Culinary Traveler
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.
The Best Father's Day Sales to Shop Now: I’m working on an update of this story from last year. A lot of these might change, so note any run-through dates IF the retailer has those when pitching me. Otherwise, it's OK to describe the sale as "for a limited time." I’m going to try to include spots such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ancestry, 23andMe, Fitbit IF they are throwing a sale. If pitching me for this one or the July 4th version below, please be sure to include what's on sale, how to shop it, the promo code (if any). Maybe the promo code is storewide, so that makes it super flexible. Whatever the shopper needs to know about how and WHY to shop the sale.
I’m also updating these two July 4th stories from last year (that I wrote, so I’m updating myself!)
Please look at last year’s version for an idea of format and what I’m looking for - and if I included your store hours or sales last year, feel free to reach out and give me updates!
For Forbes, I’ve been assigned FOUR Father’s Day gift guides. They are:
The Best Gifts For Grillers
The Best Gifts To Stock His Freezer
To pitch for ALL these gift guides, please be sure to submit in this format:
Name of product
retailer where sold, link, price (I’m open to smaller retailers, I want to have really unique great finds)
few sentences description
LINK to image
Please no commentary of gifting experts telling me their favorite gift ideas. NOT looking for experts to quote or commentary for this story. And due to the extreme volume of responses expected: ONLY pitches that follow the above format can be considered.
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 (and now in-person!) 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 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. Note: I’m also available to travel for consulting sessions as long as travel expenses are covered. We can chat!
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!
Loving these Q&A's!
On the topic of events, how can we make a virtual event more enticing for media to attend?
Thanks for the tips, Aly!