TGIF: Last night's happy hour was a HUGE success + my first Valentine's Day gift guide of the season is now live!
First of all -- I need to share how AMAZING last night went. As my friends and I were in an Uber to the party location, it started to get pretty stormy out.
I was positive this was going to lead to a huge drop-off in attendance (and I'd not have blamed anyone!), but we had a HUGE turnout.
(To be candid, I have a rich history of my plans, or plans I’m involved in, inspiring terrible weather…)
The bar was packed, and we met so many incredible people from this Substack, our Instagram friends, reunited with friends from years ago -- and, one of my favorite parts, was seeing all the networking going on, as people from different areas of our lives got to know each other and discussed collaborating.
But it was by no means an event to discuss pitching and work (though I did break my own rule a few times when I got really excited about some potential stories...job hazard), and it was more about having a cocktail with new and old friends and just everyone getting to take a break and informally get to know each other better.
If you were there last night, I'd love it if you can comment below and share your own feedback or memories or anything at all. But seriously -- thank you SO SO much to everyone who came out last night. And if you took any photos last night, we'd love if you could tag us so we can see them too! I'm already sharing a ton in my Instagram stories, if anyone wants to see!
In other news...
I'm happy to share my first Valentine's gift guide of the season is live! (Well, it's galentine's, technically...)
SO many more to come soon…
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: 14 Best Galentine’s Day Gifts for Your BFFs
TODAY.com: National Pizza Week: Where to score freebies and deals this week
Clean Plates: 7 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less
RetailMeNot: Where to Get Free Food Today (and Every Day of the Week)
The Kitchn: Costco Brought Back One of Its Most Beloved Dessert Items and You Need to Try It ASAP
HelloGiggles: 9 New Products That Will Help You Be Healthier in 2023
Forbes: 30 Romantic Cocktails To Set The Mood On Valentine’s Day
The Kitchn: This Easy Recipe for Chocolate Mousse Only Uses 5 Ingredients — And They May Already Be in Your Kitchen
Eat This, Not That: Follow My One-Week Meal Prep Plan If You're on a Budget
Eat This, Not That: I Gave Up Dairy For One Week And Here Were My Results…
YourTango: Guys Reveal What They Notice Most About Your Smile
YourTango: 20 Best Honeymoon Hotels For An Insanely Romantic Vacation
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.
What’s the deal with the lettuce shortage? If you’ve noticed it in your own shopping, you aren’t alone…I’d love a grocery supply expert or a farming or gardening expert who can chat with me over email, as well as a restaurant owner or two about how it's causing them problems? And if any of you reading this have spent a crazy amount for lettuce recently, please let me know. You don’t need to be an expert for that part — just a person who is …like me, buying some lettuce and getting some sticker shock.
Basically where I’m going with this is…why there is a lettuce shortage, how it's manifesting itself for restaurant owners and normal people who buy groceries, and what you can do about it? Is there a lettuce alternative you can use? Is one kind more likely to not be $$$ than another? Looking forward to your responses on this one!
Invited To Your First Passover Seder? Here's What To Bring - Obviously, for this story I need to make clear that you need to ask your host because of the different traditions and levels of keeping kosher. But I’d love an etiquette expert, one who is familiar with Jewish tradition, to answer a few questions as far as questions to ask, expectations, etc.
I’ve just been assigned FIVE new Valentine’s Day gift guides. (My inbox is already shuddering in fear…). The topics are:
The best gifts for a romantic dinner at home
The best luxury seafood boxes
The best global specialty ingredients for the culinary traveler
The best aphrodisiac gifts (remember, these must be food/ingredient related in some way)
The best interactive gifts for couples who love to cook together
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!
I’m also working on, for Forbes:
Romantic wines to pair with your V-Day dinner: Whether you are planning a surf and turf or a sexy pasta night, these are the wines you need for the biggest date night of the year. To pitch me a wine, be sure to include retail links, a LINK to an image, and a description.
Places online where you can order a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner to be shipped to your door. Self-explanatory. Has to be shippable as this needs to be something available to all who order it and not just a local takeout thing.
Sexy underthings to gift yourself this Valentine's Day - we all deserve to feel confident and sexy, whether you have a partner or not.
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!
Looking forward to your recaps from The Spare! Please share the dish with us!
Always a pleasure to see you, Aly! you were a vision in green. It was worth the trek through end-of-days rainfall to see you.