Tuesday: Need celeb chefs to interview for 4 new stories + new job leads!
And...my Valentine's Day gift to you!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Whether or not you find yourself coupled, if you happen to find yourself a wee bit peckish, I did a story for Today.com with a roundup of dozens of food freebies in honor of Valentine’s Day, nationwide.
I believe today is a day to celebrate all love, not just romantic love, and while we know I’m often celebrating friendship in these emails, I wanted to chat for a moment about little things we can do (and avoid doing) in our media/PR relationship to be kinder to one another.
This morning, I was in one of the Facebook groups, and a publicist posted that a journalist had written (by the publicist’s own admission) a beautiful feature on one of the publicist’s clients for a major publication. The publicist then asked the writer for an edit to the story, the writer actually agreed to the request and said she’d pass it on to her editor (Reminder: In most cases writers do not have access to stories after it publishes). When the edit wasn’t immediately done, the publicist then posted to above-mentioned group asking for an editor contact at that publication - to go over the writer’s head and ask the editor herself. Because the change she wanted was simply not happening fast enough.
Please remember that at the core of everything we do, is relationships. I actually commented on that post, reminding the publicist that this is a really easy way of damaging her relationship with the writer. (Writers really hate when publicists go over their head to their editor.) And, also: Remember that when we cover something — be it a product, a client, a destination — it’s not an advertisement. It’s editorial. You don’t get to dictate the phrasing or the language. If something is wrong, of course tell us. None of us want to get a name or date or price or photo credit wrong ever of course. But if you want me to mention that your yoga expert also is great at cheese sculptures, that’s not relevant unless I happen to end up with an assignment on yogis who like to carve things out of cheese…
Which, honestly, with my roster of assignments? Not impossible.
There’s a lot of other things we can do for one another in order to make all our lives less stressful and our work more seamless. One is honesty in pitching and invitations: I recently had to pull out of a press trip I was initially interested in attending because I was not informed into several emails into the process that their procedure would involve me having to lay out money for my own airfare and then wait on them for a reimbursement. (Apparently this practice was a result of some journalists agreeing to prior trips of theirs and just…not showing up? Which was WILD to me. Twenty years in the industry and hundreds of press trips and I couldn’t fathom that happening, ever.) But there’s an example of openness and honesty and respect for each other’s situations, on both sides of the aisle.
We can all do better. Every single one of us. Including me. Including you. Anyone who thinks they are perfect and not part of the problem is only fooling themselves. Let’s all pledge this Valentine’s Day to just do our best in everything we do to make people’s lives easier, and better, and less stressful — and never, ever, contribute to making things harder for anyone.
That’s my Valentine’s Day gift to all of you. Hope there’s so much love in your day today!
Feel free to send me your job leads at any time — it’s completely free, and as I publish this newsletter six days a week, there’ll always be room to put it in the next available newsletter. Job leads are welcome at any time, whether or not they have appeared elsewhere, and I am fully open as well to whisper leads (not revealing the company) and internship opps as well as situations wanted.
The Hodges Partnership is looking for someone with a digital background and 2-3 years experience to lead digital strategy for one client account in the Virginia spirits industry. Position will be based in Richmond, Va. and wine / spirits experience is preferred. Here’s the listing.
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 a guest on a podcast last week. 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 did 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!)
Clean Plates: The Healthiest Store-Bought Chicken Soups (That Taste Like Grandma’s)
Yahoo Life: Vineyard can't keep its green Eagles-themed sparkling wine in stock ahead of Super Bowl LVII: 'A record in our books'
The Kitchn: Giada De Laurentiis Is Leaving Food Network for Amazon After More than 20 Years
Today.com: Where to score sweet food deals and freebies on Valentine's Day
The Kitchn: You Can Get Free Cracker Barrel for a Year If You Get Engaged This Valentine’s Day
HelloGiggles: 8 Sexy Underthings To Gift Yourself This Valentine’s Day
Food Network: Coca-Cola Releases New Abstractly Named Flavor, Move, with Rosalía
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.
Eat This, Not That
I’m working on a roundup of the Best Fast-Food Sandwiches, According to Chefs (For your ease of pitching your chef clients, it’ll be similar in format to this one we’ve done before) - I’m looking to interview chefs and find out what fast-food sandwiches (Subway, Mike’s, Jimmy Jonh’s etc.) they actually eat and their go-to order. I’d love to include some celebrity (i.e. names we all know) chefs in this piece.
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.
Those who read Prince Harry’s “Spare” probably remember the part of the book where Meghan hosts a dinner party at Nottingham Cottage and the recipe she prepares involves parchment paper salmon. For this piece, I’m going to be recreating this recipe and chatting a bit about this particular moment in the story - but meanwhile I’d love if a chef could answer a few questions over email about preparing parchment paper salmon at home (not necessarily this particular recipe but in general). Thanks!
St. Patrick’s Day is just a few weeks away and I’m looking for fun cocktails and desserts that restaurants and bars nationwide have on the menu or as a special in honor of the occasion. If you have anything brewing, I’d love if you could send me:
1 - name of dish or drink, where it is served (name of restaurant, city, state, URL)
2 - description
3 - quote about it from bartender/chef/owner (don’t forget to tell me the name of the person you are quoting)
4 - LINK to image
Also for Forbes, with Purim around the corner, I’m looking for fun Purim-themed desserts, treats, and cocktails. This can be inventive spins on hamantaschen, or anything else brewing. Please use the same format as the story above when pitching!
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!
Happy Valentine's Day, Aly! xo
Happy Valentine's Day, Aly! I love your sentiment about it being a day for all love -- yes!!
Hope you had a mah-velous day! 💜