Thursday Edition: Hot off the (inbox?), I'm working on FIVE NEW GIFT GUIDES. Read more within.
Today’s newsletter is a weeeeee bit late because I knew I had a few gift guide assignments arriving today and wanted to make sure to be able to include them so everyone reading had the greatest amount of pitching time.
But the assignments are here! I have five new Valentine’s Day gift guide assignments. (egads.) Those are in addition to all the other Valentine’s content already pending for Forbes, HelloGiggles, RetailMeNot, Her Money, and more to come. There’s also NON-Valentine content in the works too, of course for various outlets.
(Check out everything I’m working on and how to pitch me for each in the pending assignments section below…scroll, scroll away!)
Please feel free to share these opportunities with anyone you know, whether or not they are newsletter subscribers, or even publicists. If I’m doing a restaurant or bar story, I’d love to also be able to include some emerging businesses that may not have representation, but have beautiful cocktails and amazing food that the world needs to know about. (Of course, in addition to so many of the incredible, beautiful pitches I’m getting from those spots that do have representation!)
Last weekend, I was in Queens visiting friends for NYE, and I happened upon one of the most unexpectedly incredible burgers — from a rather local, unassuming, casual spot. One that is so under the radar, they barely are on social media. I want to know about those places, too. (I want my READERS to know about these places too!) And I want to know about products from small businesses, whether or not they have a publicist. So, I mean it when I say, share these leads liberally. It’d mean the world to me if something I wrote or shared led to someone who may be just starting out or struggling getting more business or recognition. I realize I’m a tiny, comparatively insignificant, spoke in a big wheel, but you never know!
(That’s not to say that publicists aren’t INCREDIBLY important. You are. You make all the difference and none of us could do our jobs without you. But I want everyone to have a chance of getting their products and food and cocktail and experts out there and seen.)
If you or your client need some pointers on the best way to craft a pitch for gift guides (or any guides), you can always check out my Industry Insights archives, but I cover a lot of that in this recent podcast!
PS: New season of Ginny & Georgia drops today! Who else is binging this weekend?
PPS: Obviously I’ve pre-ordered my copy of Prince Harry’s upcoming book, and I fully plan on DEVOURING it when it arrives next week. How do we feel about creating a sort of reader book club in the chat threads on the app and reading it together? It’d be so fun! Aly’s book club!
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!
HelloGiggles: 9 New Products That Will Help You Be Healthier in 2023
Yahoo Life: How long do leftovers last? Experts share tips for safely storing food
Yahoo Life: Air fryer 101: Everything you need to know about cooking with (and maintaining) an air fryer
Forbes: Impress Your Guests This Season With Tableside Cocktails
The Kitchn: Starbucks Is Adding a New Cold Brew to the Winter Menu and Bringing Back a Fan-Favorite Bakery Item
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.
National Pizza Week is coming up — I’m looking for chain restaurants that are offering special deals and discounts in honor of the occasion. If you have any to pitch me, please email me the restaurant, the deal, and how to claim it. If there’s a social media link to the deal, would love that as well. ASAP please.
I’m working on a story on how to plan a budget-friendly romantic Valentine’s Day date night. I’d love experts to weigh in! Open to products too if they fit the theme of the story.
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.
Romantic cocktails to enjoy for Valentine's Day: I’m looking for cocktails that are currently on the menu at bars/restaurants anywhere nationwide, either as a special for the season or a permanent menu item. Please include name of drink, where available, description, and a quote from a bartender/chef/owner about the drink. Will also need a LINK to an image of the drink for this one.
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.
The Best Galentine's Day Gifts for your Besties: I’m updating this story I did last year (so if you represent a product that is in last year’s guide, please let me know if there’s any changes to it as far as price, availability, etc). But I’ll also be adding a dozen or so new products that are also great gift ideas for your bestie this year (in the same format as last year’s, if you want to use that as a guide when pitching.)
The Best Affordable Valentine's Day Gifts: I’m also working on this guide to affordable Valentine’s Day gifts. Trying to stick with under $100 for these items.
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!
Have a great day!
Would love to join the book club! 😊