Monday: Why yes, I'm working on more stories for the holidays (including a SUPER last-min Thanksgiving-related piece!)
Also: Everything I've been up to this weekend.
Hello from sunny Saint Martin!
As no matter where we are in the world, we need to fit in time to get our work done, here’s my office this morning…
We’ve had a really full weekend of gastronomy festival, cooking demos, a mixology competition, and (of course!) plenty of pool and beach time.
I’m still here through tomorrow night and come home just in time for Thanksgiving prep (though since I’ve written like a dozen articles in the last few weeks tied to Thanksgiving cooking, it kind of feels like I’ve been in the midst of Thanksgiving since October!).
Also, check out this lobster from last night. Is it not the biggest one you’ve ever seen?!
But you are here to work, and not necessarily to hear about my weekend — so let’s get to it!
(And yes, I’m spending the morning working - the ONLY way I get to do trips like these sometimes is to always work in morning work hours so I can stay on top of my daily agenda.)
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!
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Gifts For Hot Cocoa Lovers
Her Money: The Best Black Friday Strategies You Need To Save Big
Forbes: Thanksgiving Cocktails To Be Thankful For This Holiday Season
Forbes: 15 Celebrity Chefs Share Their Favorite Tips For Easier Thanksgiving Prep
Southern Living: How To Travel With Food This Thanksgiving
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Gifts For Seafood Lovers
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Gear For A Starter Kitchen
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Culinary Gifts For Fans Of The Royal Family
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.
Stores Open Christmas Day + Christmas Eve Store Hours - I’m working on a big update of this annual story (that includes DOZENS of stores of all types. It’s an update of this story from last year - so if you were included last year, and you can email me and confirm you are open (or not) and your hours, that would be a huge help. Otherwise, you’ll be hearing from me soon!
Stores Open New Years + Store Hours - Similar story, similar update! It’s an update to this story from last year. Same as above, if you were included last year (or think that you fit into the categories that you would be this year), please send me any updates to your info.
I do a lot of stories like these for them, so you probably already know the drill if we’ve worked on one of these together before - I’m not looking for one-off stores and their hours but more major chains and such.
Guess what? I’m working on more Forbes holiday gift guides! See the details below, as well as how to pitch me:
Great gifts for martini lovers - Yes, I want your vodka/gin pitches, but also good olives, pretty glasses, barware, maybe some sort of way to keep them extra cold?
As a reminder, the format for pitching this and any of my holiday gift guides is:
Name of product
Where sold (URL), price
description/why it is a fit for this particular topic
LINK to high res image
(and please make sure this item is in stock and available to ship before the holidays before pitching me.)
I’m also working on a VERY last-minute story for Forbes.com where I’d like celebrity chefs to weigh in on their favorite ways to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers. They don’t need to send a recipe, but if they can send a quote with a description of what they do with leftovers and how they enjoy it (and if they happen to have a photo example, that’s even better!), I’d LOVE that. I need by EOD tomorrow though!
GIFT GUIDE ALERT: Sexy Stocking Stuffers You Can Buy Online. I’m looking for gifts that are great for partners and/or the BFF that needs to get her groove back. Please use the same parameters as the guides above when pitching.
I’m putting out feelers for a potential freebies/deals roundup for Today.com for NATIONAL COOKIE DAY, which will be observed on December 4. If you have anything that may be a fit at a chain cafe/restaurant, please email me with what the deal is, when it will be honored, and how to claim the deal.
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!
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 email@example.com to get something on my schedule.
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