Tuesday Edition: Exciting update about our upcoming AMA session, plus newly published stories and pending assignments
It's a REALLY busy Tuesday — I have two stories I need to file by this afternoon and then a cooking Zoom to prep for! — so let's get straight to it...
First of all, an update:
My upcoming holiday gift guide AMA session, co-hosted with Alice and Zlata, reached capacity in just FIVE HOURS yesterday afternoon. We couldn't believe it!
We sincerely wish we could have hosted EVERYONE, but we hit the 100-attendee limit per session imposed by our Zoom account. But we don't want anyone to miss out on the content so we have added an additional session with room for 100 more!
Stay tuned for our announcement (VERY) soon on the timing of that second session, which we will host in addition to the originally announced Zoom set for Wednesday, September 7 at 11 am PT/2 pm (and then anyone who has signed up will have their choice of which of the two sessions they would prefer to attend). We’re trying to make this as easy and seamless for everyone as possible.
So, yes: You can keep signing up — we’re so excited to have 100 more of you! (Truthfully, we wish that our Zoom account did not limit us to 100 a session, we wish we could spend this time being a resource to EVERYONE.) If you’re a paid subscriber, you can still register at the sign-up sheet I put in yesterday afternoon's paid newsletter. (You can find the link in yesterday's special edition newsletter, but I can't add it here because this one is the public-facing edition!).
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OK, onto today's agenda!
Speaking of Zooms, I am attending a virtual event later that I'm really excited about. It's PRECISELY the sort of food/kitchen event I always refer to as winners in my virtual consulting sessions.
It's for a new grilling-related appliance (being vague on purpose because the specific appliance has yet to be announced), and we're going to experience this new appliance by using it to cook a meal together on Zoom.
The brand sent ahead a recipe and ingredients and not only will it be a fun educational experience but a de facto virtual dinner party because the results of what we make in the virtual event will be our dinner. (During the pandemic, I used to attend events such as this nearly every night and not only are they the best way to experience a product in our own kitchen but they are just such a fun way to get to know one another, too.)
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!
The Kitchn: This Popular Dishwasher Hack Promises to Give You Dry Dishes in 5 Minutes
Food Network: Chipotle Is Testing a New Spicy Protein Option, Chicken Al Pastor
Forbes: ‘Modern Jewish Comfort Food’ Offers An Updated Take On Classic Recipes Just In Time For The Jewish New Year
RetailMeNot: The Best Labor Day 2022 Sales to Shop Now
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 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.
I’m rounding up freebies, deals, and discounts at food chains in honor of the following upcoming food holidays:
National Cheese Pizza Day
National Coffee Day
Labor Day restaurant deals
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!)
For Forbes, I’m rounding up great takes on the martini in NYC - to pitch me for this, I’ll need a high res image of the martini (please send as a LINK, not as an attachment) as well as description of the martini and a quote from a bartender/owner/manager/chef at the restaurant/bar about the martini. I’m also going to incorporate a sidebar about creating a great martini at home, so I’m very open for pitches and commentary for that. By Friday please.
I'm working on the following new stories:
How to save at Uber Eats
How to save more at DoorDash
Shoppers Guide To Aldi - guide a first-time Aldi shopper through the differences (ie, shopping carts, checkout, etc.) Plus, ways Aldi helps you save (best products to buy there, etc.)
For all three of these, obviously I'm going to myself shop there and find ways to shop and save money and little time saving tips, but very open to expert advice as well.
I’ll be doing a roundup of the best frozen cauliflower crust pizzas - as in the best tasting/best for you ones you can buy. I’d love RDS and nutritionists (unaffiliated with a brand ideally) to weigh in for a variety of pizza crusts - and I have a list I can share when you email me, as far as nutrient composition: Is cauliflower actually a primary ingredient or way down the list? If there are binders like rice flour or whatever, how refined are they / how nutritionally void? Taste: does it actually taste good? - I have a lot more specific metrics, and items I specifically want to touch on, so please email me before sending commentary and I’ll tell you what I’m looking for. (As far as formatting, look to this boxed mac and cheese story I did for the same outlet as far as what I’m looking for.)
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Every morning, I share what I’m working on that day and links to newly published stories and send it right into your inbox — for free! I also share productivity tips, job leads, links to volunteer and mentoring opportunities, recipes, and more — all always free.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get something on my schedule for this fall.
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!)
That’s it for today! Have a great day and I’ll see you same place, same time, tomorrow!