Had a bit of an intense deadline this morning on a big story so today’s newsletter is coming to you a weeeee bit late in the day. However, I promise to try to make it worth it!
Yesterday was a pretty sweet day, and I’d love to tell you a little about it if you are willing to indulge me.
In the morning, the team at First Watch were kind enough to hand-deliver (yes, all the way to my Brooklyn apartment door!) their “Tropical Sunrise” fresh-squeezed juice as a sort of “escape in a glass” from my busy schedule.
It was fresh-squeezed that morning just before being delivered and was made with mango puree, along with pineapple, strawberry, and lime juices, and honestly made me feel for a few glorious moments like I had escaped my desk and was poolside at a beach resort.
This, of course, was precisely the intent. I was very touched by the sentiment!
Last night, I went to a beautiful dinner hosted by Scottish distillery Glenglassaugh at Sushi By Bou — never would I have thought to pair sushi omakase with whisky, but it was such a beautiful experience and one I can’t WAIT to repeat. The distillery has a coastal location in the east end of the Sandend Bay, Scotland, so it makes sense it’d marry so well with the sea! (Also: In obvious news, dinner was amazing.)
But I wanted to share a bit about what made yesterday sweet aside from the kind juice drop-off and last night’s epic dinner event.
Last night, I was sitting at this omakase dinner and had some great conversations with some of the other guests. I knew a few from email and social media, but most I had not met before. There was one guest at the dinner who I had a uniquely great interaction with, and at the end of the night, we ended up exchanging contact info — and I discovered this person was actually an editor I had recently pitched and just had a first assignment for last week! We had no idea when we were chatting all night that we already knew each other from email.
I hear people in our industry say sometimes that they don’t have time or interest in attending industry events or trips. I understand where they are coming from, we’re all so busy. We have so many factors competing for our attention. Last night, I went to a dinner after working 10 hours straight at my computer. I was exhausted, but I am so glad I went because I had a lovely time, learned a lot (AND got to drop some Scottish history knowledge that I only know from binging Outlander!), and made some great connections.
Over the years, so many of the ongoing writing relationships or PR/media relationships I’ve developed have been born at events or dinners or on trips. I wrote food content for years for a major men’s interest publication after sitting next to their editor on a flight to a press trip. That person you are casually chatting with over a tasting or activity may be someone you work with in some capacity for years. It’s a relationship that may expand to your own network as well, as you connect them with friends who may fit their pitching or coverage needs as well.
I’m just so grateful for events — like these, like the more casual dinners, like those epic trips — not just for the experience we have in the moment, but for those ties that are made in those moments, and how they build connections and relationships for all of us for years to come.
I get it. I’m an extreme introvert. I was telling a friend last night that I feel like I have a sort of “social fuel tank” and that when I deplete it, I need to refuel before I can “people” further. But put yourself out there and make the effort. I promise it’s worth it. In so many ways.
Now, moving on…!
Some fun food news I’ve penned since yesterday’s email has published:
Also: In OTHER food news, join me on Instagram around 6 pm ET tonight. It’s pretty much my ONLY night free this week (I have events/dinners all week!), and I’m going to spend it sharing one of my grandma’s recipes with you — and it’s a pretty special one and one I’ve never made on my own before. It’s also something you just may want to put in your Passover recipe collection for next week. So, stay tuned, and I’ll share more later!
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!
In case you missed it, I was recently a guest on a podcast. Check it out here — I share some easy-to-follow tips on how emerging brands can get the attention of busy editors.
Speaking of podcasts, I was a guest on the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ podcast last month (I ADORE Lexie Smith!), and you can still catch it here. We chatted at length about pitching, the ever-changing landscape of the editorial process, and more.
(Also, if you host a podcast that has anything to do with media/PR/writer content or food/bev/travel content and are interested in me coming on as a guest, I’d love if you reach out!)
Southern Living: Invited To Your First Passover Seder? Here's What You Should Bring
The Kitchn: Martha Stewart Taught Jamie Oliver a Very Useful Kitchen Hack, and We Can’t Wait to Use It
Taste of Home: Wendy’s Just Dropped Three New Items for Spring
Taste of Home: Costco Is Selling Starbucks Egg Bites for a Limited Time
Food Network: KFC Brings Its Fried Chicken Nuggets Nationwide
Food Network: Magnolia Bakery’s Legendary Desserts Are Coming to Your Local Grocery Store Aisle
Forbes.com: Capture The Spirit Of The Season With Whimsical Easter Cocktails
Forbes.com: Food-Themed Easter Baskets Add A Touch Of Whimsy To The Celebration
YourTango: 15 Best DIY Hair Masks To Get Soft, Moisturized Hair
YourTango: 40 Best Energy-Boosting Foods & Drinks To Make A Part Of
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.
The Best Easter Sales for 2023: I’m updating this article from last year. For this story, I’m trying to focus on last-minute sales, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be pegged to Easter, as there’ll also be a ton of spring sales going on, too. So, really anything that helps you get Easter Basket stuffers, clothes, table decor, spring decor or whatever else for Easter is fair game. Trying to include some major retailers in this, such as Target, CVS, Walmart, Michaels, Macy's.
Stores Closed on Easter Sunday (+ Easter Store Hours for 2023): You may recall this is a giant guide I do for RMN every major holiday, and Easter is getting the treatment again this year. I’ll be updating this story from last year — so if I included you in last year’s story and you have updated info for me, or want to tell me the info is not updated and is the same, please email me. I’m looking to mostly keep the same format, and simply adjust for 2023.
I’m beginning to round up Cinco de Mayo food deals at chain restaurants. I’m not looking for free delivery or reward point type of deals at this time but more BOGOs, freebies, discounts, etc. Please be sure to tell me how to claim the deal (i.e. coupon code, downloading app, etc) when responding.
I’m working on a story on great wines, snacks, and products to buy for Passover 2023. It is IMPERATIVE for this story that everything I include be certified as kosher for Passover (not just kosher - it’s a distinct certification). Please be sure to confirm before pitching. I’ve gotten HUNDREDS of pitches for things where the sender will insist it is “kosher” but when I look into it, it’s kosher but not kosher for Passover - please understand the difference before pitching me.
I’m also looking for Passover-inspired cocktails you can find at bars and restaurants. This one is trickier because I realize for this one a lot of submissions will probably come from places not kosher for Passover or even kosher — that’s fine for this story (but not the other one). This one, I need name of drink, where served, a description, a quote about it, (how is it inspired by Passover?), and an image of the cocktail.
Looking forward, I am looking for bars/restaurants around the world that have created specialty cocktails in honor of the coronation of King Charles III this May. I’ll need the usual — where it is, what’s in it, why it’s a perfect cocktail for the occasion, a quote from a bartender/owner/chef, and a high res image. I’m really excited about this one, so lets try to find some great cocktails!
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 (and now in-person!) 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 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. Note: I’m also available to travel for consulting sessions as long as travel expenses are covered. We can chat!
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!
Ahhhhh.... thanks for the reminder in the last paragraph 😩