Thursday: There's A LOT going on today -- new assignments, new stories published, and a new recipe!
Plus: OMG The Crown is so good.
So much to chat about today.
For my fellow recipe gatherers, last night I made a red curry salmon with spinach and chickpeas. I demo'd the complete recipe on my Instagram stories, and you can still grab it if you like. It's so easy to make, and it is very simple to modify for larger or smaller servings.
Drop by my Instagram and check out the video run-through I did, and if you have any questions, drop me a line below!
After that cooking demo, I went DEEP into a binging The Crown rabbit hole (and yes, I even wore my tiara for the binging).
I'm only about four episodes in right now because eventually I DID go to sleep, but I'll probably finish it tonight or tomorrow and then I'm very open to discussions.
Meanwhile though, as per usual, I have the following non-spoilery things to say: The casting is impeccable, I love the gorgeous music, fashion, grand architecture — and I learned so much (even as a super royal follower!) that I was pausing it every few minutes to Google the history. I LOVE this show.
OK, enough about non-work things (sorry!).
You'll notice in the newly published links below that FIVE stories have gone live since yesterday morning's email! This includes a holiday gift guide, an update of a Black Friday piece, and then the usual daily fun food news things. As I said, it's a busy time -- and to that end (and I guess the end of one always means the beginning of another?), there's also FOUR new assignments pending in the 'currently working on' section that have been added since yesterday. So, be sure to scroll down and check out both what is new and what is no longer on the list so we're all working our most effectively.
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!
Eat This, Not That: 7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Make in Your Air Fryer
Guest Blog Post For Duree & Company: Everything To Keep in Mind When Pitching a Product for Holiday Gift Guides
Her Money: How To Build A Budget For Holiday Travel
Clean Plates: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Frozen Chicken Nuggets
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.
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 Southern Living, I'm working on two new stories this week:
Can You Freeze Sour Cream?
Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
For both of these, I'd love chefs/food safety experts, etc, to weigh in regarding why you can/can't, and factors to consider. Over email is ideal!
I’m rounding up Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less. This story will be a gallery of dinner recipes that follow the Mediterranean diet. If pitching me this, I’m looking for recipes that exist online on food blogs, TikTok, Instagram, etc, that I can link to, please don’t send me PDFs from someone’s book or the back of some brand’s box of pasta or a recipe a chef is submitting just for this purpose. That’s all rather nice but it’s not the assignment. I need something that exists online that I can link to. (Yes, I know I sound repetitive but you should see the responses I get even with the most specific of guidelines!)
Before pitching me, make sure you know what this diet is so you know if this recipe applies (you’d be surprised…), and please do not just send me a stack of links. Explain why you think this recipe works with this diet, focusing on the foods, nutrients, etc.
I'm working on SEVERAL stories for Her Money now pegged for the holiday season --
A gift roundup for Small Business Saturday, with a focus on female-owned small businesses you can support - if you have anything to pitch, please follow the general pitching guidelines I always mention for HGGs and be sure to include all the necessary information.
Budgeting for Black Friday - there's a lot of places around trying to sell you products and tell you about their deals, but I'd love some expert tips for navigating the frenzied activity and making the smartest decisions for you and your budget. Save time, save money, save effort, and what to shop and what not to shop (am NOT looking for specific products for this one, this is not an e-commerce story)
I’m working on this HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Gift ideas for your friend who has serious wanderlust. Send me your pitches!
Celebrity chefs share their #1 tip for saving time on Thanksgiving meal prep. I’m looking for chefs to weigh in on their top tip on saving time and effort on prepping the biggest dinner of the year. I’m looking for big chefs for this one (like those who we may see on Food Network, etc). Please email me if you have anyone!
Thanksgiving-inspired cocktails available at bars and restaurants: I’m rounding up fun and unique cocktails that are on restaurant and bar menus this season in honor of Thanksgiving or the season. These can’t be from a book/website/TikTok, etc, but must be on the menu and available to be ordered somewhere. If you have one to pitch, please include the name of the cocktail, high res image of the cocktail, where served (city, state, name of restaurant, URL of restaurant), description, and quote from owner or bartender/bar manager/chef/etc. A reminder that, as with gift guides, an item can not be included if all the necessary components are not included at time of pitching.
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 for this fall.
Looking to up your affiliate marketing game?
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have a great day <3