Wednesday: Breaking news about our next AMA Zoom (er A-US-A Zoom?) Also: Hello From (Somewhere In) The Sky!
May I just say….God bless inflight wifi.
I know I always say it, but I mean it so hard. I don’t really know how I functioned as a business traveler before it was an option.
And as Delta has begun rolling out FREE inflight wifi today (as announced last month at CES), it’s an extra bang for you (well, no!) bucks.
But seriously, I don’t know what I would do without it. So much of the bread and butter of my daily work is those morning quick-hit food news stories, and if I’m not connected, I cannot write about them. Just this morning I discovered some about-to-happen food news, pitched it to my Food Network editor, and wrote the story from my seat on the plane, as we awaited takeoff (we were a bit delayed this morning, so I had a bit of time to play with there). The story is now safely in my editor’s hands and will publish any minute — probably before my flight even lands!
RELATED: If you want some tips on how to be more productive while working inflight, I actually wrote a guide to that!
This is not an anomaly to this flight or this trip or this day, but honestly something that happens quite often, and it’s why I’m super careful about how I schedule the timing of my trips and my flights. Breaking news (er, food news…haha), needs to be reported!
(Also related: Because inflight wifi is so awesome, I actually just confirmed my flight details for my NEXT trip, while inflight to THIS trip…and I’ll just never stop gushing on how much more seamless my life is with this as an option.)
But aside from all that…but also related to, well, food news, and travel, and this trip, super excited to report that my latest for Forbes is also live…and it involves, well…desserts to enjoy if you want to celebrate Mardi Gras from anywhere in the nation.
(Yes, I realize my day has a theme. It’s kind of the point!)
Our Next Zoom AMA Is An ASK US ANYTHING
In a newsletter earlier this week, Jill Schildhouse polled her subscribers about interest in an upcoming AMA to discuss everything from the worrisome rise of chatGPT to create content to the recent wave of media layoffs to the ever-changing publishing landscape.
Her poll results exhibited a clear yes (by a WIDE margin), and so she reached out to me and Alice Dubin to co-host with her, to answer any and all questions regarding media and the industry (whether or not they are related to the layoffs and AI!). We text daily and happen to be in line on a lot of topics, but we also have some distinct thoughts on many issues, so it should be a pretty lively discussion.
This Zoom will be open to those who are paid subscribers to ANY ONE of our Substacks and is capped at 100 attendees. With limited spots available, we will be giving preference to people who subscribe to all three (free is fine!) but are paid subscribers to any one of the three of us.
To RSVP and get more details as for time/date/etc, please scroll down to the end of today’s newsletter…the RSVP info will be behind a paywall, after all the free public-facing leads I share daily.
(Also: if you can’t make it, don’t worry. We’ve already discussed SEVERAL other pretty major topics to collab on for future sessions in the coming months - more soon!)
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: These Mardi Gras Desserts Are The Perfect Finale For Any Celebration
RetailMeNot: 13 Purr-fect Valentine’s Day Gifts for Pets
RetailMeNot: Affordable Valentine’s Day Gifts That Show Lots of Love on a Budget
RetailMeNot: Coffee Shops and Restaurants With Bring-Your-Own-Reusable Cup Discounts
The Kitchn: Cinnamon Toast Crunch-Flavored Bugles are Hitting Shelves Soon
Southern Living: Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
Clean Plates: 5 Trader Joe’s Frozen Foods Perfect for Valentine’s Day at Home
YourTango: 15 Unique Pieces Of Jewelry Women Love Most
Pawp.com: 14 Pet Hair-Proof Pants And Leggings For Cat & Dog Owners
Clean Plates: 8 Costco Foods Nutritionists Love for Valentine’s Day
SPY.com: Our Favorite Funny Valentine’s Day Cards Are Sure to Make Them Giggle (or Blush!) on February 14
Forbes: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Luxury Seafood Boxes
Forbes: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Interactive Gifts For Couples Who Love To Cook Together
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.
For Today.com, I’m rounding up deals at chains for both National Pizza Day (2/9), and Valentine’s Day. This isn’t simply that you are doing a heart-shaped pizza or a special menu item, but that you are doing some sort of specific deal or discount — think BOGO, freebie, discount code, etc. If you have anything, please email me the name of the chain, where it is located (if it’s not national), what the deal is, and how to claim it.
I’m working on an explainer on how to preheat your air fryer. Clearly, I’m very aware of how to preheat an air fryer - I use it nightly! But, I’d love an air fryer expert of some sort (other than me, haha!), to weigh in on times they would preheat and times they would not, and why. And, also, the benefits of preheating in certain recipes.
I’m looking for cocktails that are in honor of the Super Bowl. These are cocktails that must exist on the menu at a bar or restaurant (it’s fine if it’s a special just for the next few weeks!). Please send me:
Name of drink
Description of drink (NOT a recipe)
Quote from bartender/chef/owner about drink/inspiration
LINK to high res image of drink, with appropriate photo credit
**Please send all pitches for this one by Friday 2/3
Here’s what I’m currently working on for Valentine’s Day:
The best gifts for a romantic dinner at home
For all of these guides (and honestly, most guides for any outlet, I would prefer all pitches be sent in the following format):
Name of product
link where sold, price
Description of product
LINK to high res image
*please please make sure that an item is not discontinued, and is currently available and in stock to ship and arrive before Valentine’s Day before pitching me. Sound obvious? I got a LOT of holiday pitches that did not fit this qualification!
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!