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Wednesday Edition: Hello from Greenville!
Please excuse the lateness of today's newsletter. I know people count on this email being in their inbox each morning as they start their day, and it means so much to me to be able to provide that.
Today's newsletter is slightly delayed because today has been a travel day. I was en route to Greenville! I am here for the second year in a row on assignment to cover Euphoria -- which, no, has nothing to do with the HBO series -- but is actually a super-fun annual event bringing music, wine, and chefs all into the same place for tons of fun events and workshops and dinners over a long weekend. My itinerary for the next few days is full of so much great stuff that will be not only delicious experiences with friends, but also great content. So, stay tuned!
But, obviously, the very best part of visiting anywhere is being able to see the people who are important to you. That’s the very best part of…doing anything at all. And so as soon as I confirmed this trip, Amanda and I made plans for us to have lunch as soon as I landed - and this time she brought the newest member of her team, Julia, for me to meet! I adore her already.
I've spoken in this newsletter about Amanda before -- she's the friend who attended a webinar I was co-hosting early in the pandemic where I mentioned my love of oysters, which I hadn't been able to enjoy in a while. And she overnighted me an oyster delivery the very next day! It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gesture ever -- but that's just Amanda. She's one of the sweetest, most genuine people you'll ever meet.
This trip is special too in that I have a few friends on it from different areas of my life. One is a friend I made just recently on a press trip last month, and another is a friend I met on a press trip nearly five years ago that I am still good friends with but only get to see once or twice a year. I was telling Amanda at lunch - some of my closest friends in my life are people I met at press dinners an events and press trips over the last twenty years. And that makes trips like this sometimes feel like a family reunion of sorts. And you never know when that next great friendship is really just a welcome dinner away. That’s also why when I consult about press trip planning I always strongly recommend asking journalists attending for referrals. We all know who we love traveling with, and a trip having the right energy and being filled with people who already like each other and have a track record of consistent coverage is, as everyone knows, the biggest part of the battle.
Cutting today's newsletter short because I have about 1,000 unread emails in my inbox (ahhhh, travel days!!!) and have a dinner to get ready for shortly - but I'll share more tomorrow morning.
A side note on invitations: I received SEVERAL invites over the last few days for press trips and events that overlap with Rosh Hashonah or Yom Kippur. Every time I pointed that out to people, they responded with "oh, I had no idea!' - I believe this! I know no one has ill intentions, of course!!! But please take the time to Google and take stock of religious and cultural observances that may prevent people from being able to attend. You want your event to be inclusive and include the people who wish to cover it, right? Make it possible for them!
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!
Taste of Home: Should You Tip For Takeout?
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 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.
National Taco Day is a few weeks away and I’m looking for fun, unique, inventive tacos. If your restaurant has something really cool and interesting and delicious, please send me the following: Name of dish, where sold, description, quote from chef about the dish, and a high res image. By Monday please!
I’m rounding up freebies, deals, and discounts at food chains in honor of the following upcoming food holidays:
National Coffee Day (9/29)
National Taco Day (10/4)
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!)
Share the love
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.
Paid subscriptions get additional benefits, such as my weekly industry insights newsletters, subscriber Zoom chats, and much more.
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 email@example.com to get something on my schedule for this fall.
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That’s it for today! Have a great day and I’ll see you same place, same time, tomorrow!