Tuesday: Our community is so amazing, and I'm incredibly grateful
Also: I actually have a handful of new assignments since yesterday!
I have a few hours left before I leave this little bit of island paradise and head back to NYC (and I can't even lie, I'm really excited to be there despite the change in setting and temperatures -- Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!).
Following Thanksgiving, I know that many people will be looking forward to Black Friday sales. But I encourage you to take some time to shop on Small Business Saturday. I rounded up some incredible female-run small businesses that you may want to consider shopping at on SBS - remember, this is the season of Thanksgiving and gratitude, and that also means giving support as much as you can.
I actually wasn't planning on doing a traditional email today because I know a lot of you are already starting to gear up to head out for the long weekend. But then I got a batch of new assignments yesterday -- so those of you who are still working through tomorrow, I wanted to give a jump on them. Early bird (er, early turkey? Turkeys ARE birds tho...), does get the worm.
But this actually gives me the opportunity to share some of the things I am grateful for.
And that is, of course, all of you.
There's a lot of griping that goes on in our industry - from how to do and not do things (and I'm guilty!), to pet peeves and red flags. But the reality is - none of us could do our jobs without each other, and I for one am incredibly grateful for everyone who sees me on a daily basis needing to turn around a handful of stories in an hour or two, needing sources who can meet those deadlines, and always come through for me. I'd be LOST without you, and I don't say thank you for that enough.
But I'm also so grateful for things that go beyond stories and deadlines and sources and interviews. I'm grateful for friendships. I think that nothing made us appreciate the huge value of being physically in each other's lives like those two years we couldn't be. Some of my closest relationships have been born out of people I meet at press dinners or events or on press trips.
This current trip I'm on as an example -- it's hosted by Cessie, who I have been traveling with in various capacities for a decade. We're also dear friends. In fact, she came to my Dirty Aly cocktail launch party last spring and took (uncredited, mind you!) most of the photos of the night I used in the reels to follow.
Amber Love Bond is also on this trip. She's one of my close friends - and I met her at a party that a mutual publicist friend, the lovely Linda!, was hosting during SOBEWFF almost 3 years ago. (In fun news, Cessie and Linda also are connected — this world is small!) We became instant friends -- and then the world shut down and even though we couldn't see each other again until many, months later -- we were soon texting and Zooming every single day.
A friend I just met this week, Melissa, turns out she went to grad school with my friend Joanna - who I met on a Italy press trip years ago. This one trip is just one example of the incredible connections we make in this amazing industry we are lucky enough to be a part of.
(And this trip is not an isolated example -- one of my closest friends, Amber Katz? I met her at a beauty brand's press dinner many years ago. And our awesome friend Lisa (we call ourselves Blondtourage in our text thread!), I met her when I was writing about her extensions salon many years ago -- and we quickly realized we were two halves of a very very similar brain.
I'm not sharing this just to talk about some of my friends but to just say, these nuggets are nuggets of A MUCH LARGER network, I have dozens of friends who I met in similar ways and love deeply -- and I have this crazy but awesome world we live in to thank for it. It’s why every time I visit a city I try to make time for a local meetup for those who live in the area. Maintaining those connections…it’s not just important. It’s not just something that feels good in the moment. But at the end of the day, it’s what all this is truly all about.
So, happy Thanksgiving! I'll be making and sharing lots of cooking in the days to come, assuming I have no flight delays...haha! -- and now lets move into today's new assignments and newly published links.
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!
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Great Gifts For The Martini Lover
HerMoney: You Can Still Find Great Deals On Business Class Flights
HerMoney: Female Businesses To Support on Small Business Saturday
Clean Plates: Healthy (but Still Tasty!) Versions of 7 Classic Thanksgiving Recipes
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Gifts For Hot Cocoa Lovers
Her Money: The Best Black Friday Strategies You Need To Save Big
Forbes: Thanksgiving Cocktails To Be Thankful For This Holiday Season
Forbes: 15 Celebrity Chefs Share Their Favorite Tips For Easier Thanksgiving Prep
Southern Living: How To Travel With Food This Thanksgiving
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Gifts For Seafood Lovers
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Gear For A Starter Kitchen
Forbes: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Culinary Gifts For Fans Of The Royal Family
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 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.
Stores Open Christmas Day + Christmas Eve Store Hours - I’m working on a big update of this annual story (that includes DOZENS of stores of all types. It’s an update of this story from last year - so if you were included last year, and you can email me and confirm you are open (or not) and your hours, that would be a huge help. Otherwise, you’ll be hearing from me soon!
Stores Open New Years + Store Hours - Similar story, similar update! It’s an update to this story from last year. Same as above, if you were included last year (or think that you fit into the categories that you would be this year), please send me any updates to your info.
I do a lot of stories like these for them, so you probably already know the drill if we’ve worked on one of these together before - I’m not looking for one-off stores and their hours but more major chains and such.
Should you tip more now, with inflation?” As this is the holiday season and we're going to be tipping more than ever - when tipping doormen, apartment building supers, hair stylists, cleaning staff, and more, should we be tipping more now? If so, how much more? What to know about tipping in 2022.
I’m working on a VERY last-minute story for Forbes.com where I’d like celebrity chefs to weigh in on their favorite ways to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers. They don’t need to send a recipe, but if they can send a quote with a description of what they do with leftovers and how they enjoy it (and if they happen to have a photo example, that’s even better!), I’d LOVE that. I need by EOD tomorrow though!
GIFT GUIDE ALERT: Sexy Stocking Stuffers You Can Buy Online. I’m looking for gifts that are great for partners and/or the BFF that needs to get her groove back. Please use the same parameters as the guides above when pitching.
Best New Products That Will Help You Be Healthier in 2023 -- I'm looking for products that enhance any area of wellness, so this is not limited to fitness but also areas like staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, feeling your best, BEING HAPPY, etc.
I’m putting out feelers for a potential freebies/deals roundup for Today.com for NATIONAL COOKIE DAY, which will be observed on December 4. If you have anything that may be a fit at a chain cafe/restaurant, please email me with what the deal is, when it will be honored, and how to claim the deal.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get something on my schedule.
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Have a great day!
LOVE the pic of you and Cessie! Happy Thanksgiving Aly! Thankful for you :)