Thursday Newsletter: Spicy shrimp recipe, TONS of job leads, and a last call to send your Labor Day sales info
Also: In the news about the surge in raspberry popularity
I have LOADS of new job leads to share today (guess companies are starting fall by hitting the ground running!), so be sure to check those out. But until then, here's what's going on today...
(Also: alert that I’m wrapping up the Labor Day sales and deals story mentioned in my pending assignments section by this weekend, so please send those sales details to me ASAP if you want to be included…)
You may have noticed that earlier this week, I wrote a story for Food Network breaking the news about an exciting new Girl Scout cookie flavor coming in 2023. Yesterday, Marketwatch interviewed me about the surge in raspberry popularity, as evidenced by this raspberry-centric cookie. Check it out here.
Last night, I made a really fun shrimp and veggie stir fry, and the recipe is now on my Instagram stories. I marinated the shrimp in gochujang, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic, so it's super spicy and flavorful. Check out my recipe video before it goes away!
After dinner, I watched Look Both Ways, which was newly added to Netflix and it's really good, and poignant -- it's largely about how one decision or moment can cause our life to diverge into a new sort of reality. It really resonated with me, and I recommend it to anyone looking for some nighttime entertainment this week!
Yesterday, I joined in on my friend Jill's AMA about affiliate marketing and I was so excited to see a good amount of you in the audience! With gift guide season soon approaching, I'm absolutely planning on doing one as well soon for this community -- mine will not be affiliate marketing focused as much, though I'm sure that will absolutely come up (honestly not as much my field of knowledge!) but more about gift guide pitching and followups and all that. Basically a Q&A that covers all your...well, questions needing answers. Will keep you posted once I have something on the books!
I also am toying with a related idea. For several years, I’ve had a habit of creating a sort of meet and greet cocktail hour every time I visit a city. And it always is so fun and I always get to connect with so many awesome people.
But I never think to do it in my OWN city. So if I was to do something like that at a local bar in NYC one night this fall, where subscribers can just stop by, buy a cocktail, and just get to know each other (and put faces to names), would people be interested?
I never mean this in a pitching capacity as much as a relationship building one. I noticed this being really lovely on a smaller scale when some of you came out to my cocktail launch party in June. So many people who work in related fields but didn’t know each other connecting and discovering how much they have in common — other than me and and a love of martinis, of course. Plus, it’s just fun. Let me know if that’s something that might have legs and I’ll do some thinking on it…
Have a job lead? Email them to me at email@example.com - they are always free, and always welcome. This newsletter goes out six days a week, so if you have a preferred day to have it appear, let me know that as well - can't guarantee it will be that day, but I will do my best. Internship opportunities are welcome as well! Please remember to include location of the job and any contact information. Blind items are also OK if you are putting some feelers out but not ready to share the job is available.
Vice President, Los Angeles (Hybrid): Relevance International is a global PR firm specializing in real estate, architecture & design, and luxury hospitality. The role of the Vice President will be the leader of their LA office, drive account acquisition, and serve as the head strategist for client campaigns and management servicing multiple industries. This role reports directly into the CEO. Relevance International offers a dynamic hybrid work environment (3 days in office, 2 days work from home) and a flexible “Work from Anywhere” program two weeks per year. Generous PTO policy in addition to being closed the last week of the year. Excellent career development with external and internal training programs for all employees which also includes biannual reviews and weekly coaching/mentoring sessions for all staff.
Citi is hiring a VP, Public Affairs in New York to help lead communications for its credit cards business. It’s an exciting new role that will drive PR campaigns that positively position the bank within consumer media. Ideal candidates have ~6-8 years of PR experience and a background in developing integrated communications campaigns with a focus on media relations, social media, influencer marketing and experiential/events. Email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello PR Group, an LA-based PR firm specializing in marketing and communications strategies for the design, lifestyle and luxury industries, seeks an Account Coordinator. The candidate must have a self-starter attitude, a desire to grow and learn about the public relations industry and a strong interest in architecture, interiors, and design. This entry level position requires a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, or Journalism; minimum (1) one to (2) two years' experience on either the agency or client side, working with design clients. Internships count! Email your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to email@example.com
Go places with MMGY NJF! The 100% travel and tourism PR, social media and experiential marketing agency is looking for two SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES (one fluent in Spanish) who are obsessed with travel and have excellent media relation skills. Benefits include flexible work schedule, anniversary travel gifts and generous PTO. Here's a link to the jobs!
Get a special group rate
I’m now offering a 50% discount on paid subscriptions when purchased as part of a group subscription (that’s four or more people). It’s a great way to get your team involved and save some cash.
Newly published …
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!
Food Network: Snoop Dogg Launches New Cereal
RetailMeNot: 65+ College Student Discounts
Food Network: Salt & Straw Makes Ice Cream Fit for Man’s Best Friends
HerMoney: How to get the best deals on meal kits
The Kitchn: I Tried Martha Stewart’s Signature Cocktail at Her New Restaurant and It’s Just as Good as You’d Expect It to Be
Food Network: I got an early look at a new 2023 flavor! Girl Scouts Kick Off Cookie Season with New Raspberry Rally Flavor
Southern Living: How to Boil Potatoes
Food Network: Miller High Life Makes An Ice Cream Bar That Tastes Like Dive Bars
Forbes: Martha Stewart's New Vegas Restaurant Is All About The Personal Touch
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.
What I’m working on now:
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.
The Best Labor Day Sales to Shop Now - This is similar to the sales roundups I did for July 4th, Father's Day, and so forth. I'm rounding up the best Labor Day sales this year, focusing on major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s etc. When pitching me, please include the details of the sale, if it’s in-store or online, and any cash back offers from RetailMeNot.
Your Guide to Labor Day Store Hours - I'm going to be doing a revamp of this article, about the store hours of major retailers during Labor Day weekend. I want to include the retailers that were in last year’s update (so please email me if you are any of those stores) but will be expanding and adding more in this update. Yes, this is very similar to the hours updates I've done for Memorial Day, July 4th, etc, so you know the drill by now as far as format goes!
I’m rounding up freebies, deals, and discounts at food chains in honor of the following upcoming food holidays:
National Burger Day
National Cheese Pizza Day
National Coffee Day
Some of these food holidays are not until September so I have a bit of time, but earlier, the better, always. (I tend to get SO many food-holiday deal related pitches when it’s already THAT DAY and the story is already published. Then it’s too late! Get these deals to me early for the best chance of getting them included.)
Please send me the deal, when it’s good, what the deal is, how to claim it, and any other details. (Is it only good during specific hours, is it only good at specific locations? This is all helpful to know!)
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Please share this newsletter with a friend or colleague today. Every Friday, I randomly choose one new free subscriber who signed on that week. They will be automatically upgraded to a paid subscription for free — and, if they tell me who referred them to this Substack, that person will as well! These opportunities only get better if we share them with our friends.
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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!
Potential new availability: A few people have reached out to me and asked if I was also open to doing consulting for freelance journalists in addition to the PR consulting sessions I currently do, and I am absolutely considering it. I need to spend some time thinking on what a session like that may look like and be structured, but after 20+ years in the industry, I’ve seen a whole lot change and it may be interesting to share my own experiences with someone just starting out. So, stay tuned!
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 for this summer.
Are you confused about affiliate marketing?
If you are having trouble learning how to navigate issues of affiliate marketing (trust me, we've all been there!), you may want to try out my friend Sarah Karger, a publicist, and former editor Dana Baardsen (and all-around fab girl!)'s 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!)
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have a great day <3
I have been wanting to get to NYC (we canceled a trip earlier this year) so this would be my great excuse!
I’m a complete introvert but said yes to the idea of a meet and greet. 😊