Discover more from Aly Walansky's Newsletter
Monday: Starting the week with an in-flight newsletter -- see you soon, Dallas!
Also: How I work from airports!
Happy World Kindness Day. However you spend your day today, please try to lead with kindness.
…And…hello from the air!
I wanted to start this newsletter with a heartfelt thanks to the team at Agility PR - this weekend, they released their list of top travel and tourism writers in 2023, and I was so excited to see my name on the list alongside travel writers I greatly admire, like Johnny Jet! Check it out here: Top 10 U.S. Journalists in Travel & Tourism.
On a related note, I’m currently on an early morning flight en route to Dallas (also known as the city where in 2019, I got the best blowout of my entire life, as evidenced below…), but this week is not about hair (though aren’t all weeks a little bit about hair???), but about other things I love — such as queso, BBQ, breakfast tacos, and fun with friends!
I’m on a bit of an interesting spin on the traditional press trip this week (it’s almost like two press trips in one and something that has been in the works for several months), and I’ll go into it in a future newsletter — but I am hitting the ground running (well, not literally running because I don’t do that), and I have a packed itinerary.
I am excited to share it all with you in the days to come!
In OTHER news I’m excited to share, I have a few big stories that went live this morning. For Forbes, I have not one but TWO exclusives that published today — Two Beloved Cuisines Marry At Curry Pizza House Las Vegas, and Ming Tsai’s MingsBings Has Added A Meaty Addition To Its Lineup.
In other news you need to know, but maybe did not know — my latest story for Food Network: You Can Buy Just About Anything Inside an Olive Garden – Including Its Cheese Graters. Also new today for Southern Living, I did a deep dive into the best practices when working with raw Brussels sprouts!
How to work from the airport
As the bulk of this draft was written from the airport as I awaited my flight (I’m as neurotic a traveler as they get and left my home at 5 am for an 8 am flight), I thought it may be helpful to share how I maximize my productivity while in airports (and I spend a lot of time in airports, as you are aware!).
Obviously, working from an airport is a bit easier if you are lucky enough to have lounge access, but many of us don't. So, here's how still make that airport time productive:
1. Get your bearings. As soon as I get to an airport, I browse around for my gate. Even if i'm there hours early. Does my gate have power outlets and a comfy place to sit? I'll set up shop there. Otherwise, I'll go for a bit of a walk and find a nearby area that does work. It's ideal to have your work area be at your gate or close to it so you can stay on top of updates about your flight.
2. Create your workspace. This is a lot about what I chatted about in hotel rooms a while back, but find that seat and (make sure it's working!) power outlet. Grab your coffee or water bottle. Sit down and put on your headphones or ear buds (this prevents people from trying to chat with you while you work.) It's great to be friendly but you'll get a lot more work done if you can avoid distractions and stay focused.
3. Create a kit. I do have a bit of an airport/airplane work kit. It's obvious stuff like gadgets and power cords, any drives or hot spots I may need. You may want to consider bringing your own power strip as outlets may be limited.
4. Playlist. Remember those headphones I had mentioned earlier? Don't rely on airport music or streaming music from wifi. Download whatever you'll need to your computer or phone so it's readily available.
5. Consider buying a lounge day pass. Sometimes lounges are free with certain credit cards, but if not, you can often get a pass for less than you'll spend on a snack at the airport restaurant -- but that day pass will get you free food, drinks, reliable wifi, power outlets, and way more comfortable work areas. It's something to consider!
PS: Don’t forget I’m offering a staggering 50% off sale on subscriptions this month only as my Friendsgiving special offer!
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!
Buy my cookbook!
I contributed a recipe and some commentary to a Jewish recipes cookbook and the 100% of the proceeds go to JFSLA, and earmarked for Food & Hunger Programs specifically. Order it here.
PS: I love doing podcasts!
My latest podcast appearance, on the Media In Minutes podcast, is now live! This was a really fun one:
I recently recorded a guest appearance on the True Story public relations podcast with Whitney Lee, and we chatted about everything from pitching to press tours and how to build a more personal connection (more important now than ever).
Recently, I was also a guest on the Eat.Drink.Social podcast, and we chatted about my upcoming travel, recent press trip experiences, and so much more. Check out my guest appearance a little while ago on Jamie Stone’s A Little Too Much podcast. We had SO much fun discussing everything from the changing landscape of events and trips to our thoughts on some emerging food and cocktail trends.
Some of my latest podcast appearances include Media Circus Podcast with Taiisha Bradley, as well as the Italian Wine Podcast, where we discussed all things Substack, and the Coffee N° 5 podcast, where we chatted about effective strategies for promoting emerging brands to journalists and securing media coverage. Other recent podcast appearances include the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ podcast with the incredible (and super fun!) Lexie Smith, where we covered everything from press dinners and events and trips to, well, sippin’!
I’ve recorded a few others that should be live soon as well and I’m always open to doing more — email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Living: Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?
Forbes.com: Pyro Has Set Phoenix Dining Scene On Fire
Southern Living: Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?
HerMoney: The Best Free Or Low Cost Sleep Apps
Martha Stewart Living: 13 Small Space Storage Ideas That Find a Place for Everything
Southern Living: Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
Martha Stewart Living: How to Store Your Clothes If You Don't Have a Closet
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 Forbes, I’m looking for spots online offering some variant of “Thanksgiving in a box” that you can have shipped to you in time for the holiday - this can be either cooked and complete meals you just reheat and serve or recipe kits.
For Forbes, I’m rounding up creative Hanukkah-themed dishes and cocktails at restaurant and bars around the country. If you have any, please send details (usual format!)
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’m available for PR team virtual meetings to answer questions about pitching, events, and trips from a media perspective. Note: I’m also available to travel for consulting sessions as long as travel expenses are covered. We can chat! This is available for entire agencies or smaller group lunch and learn type concepts.
Have a great day!