Discover more from Aly Walansky's Newsletter
Wednesday Edition: So much going on today! New stories, too.
This will have to be a pretty abbreviated email today because I have a busy but exciting day ahead of me. In fact, it's going to be a RARE day where I am away from my desk for the whole afternoon ON A WEEKDAY (so, fast food world, please try your very best to have no breaking news today!). But all my plans this afternoon are in preparation for a pretty exciting evening I have planned -- will share more on my Instagram stories later (and in this email tomorrow morning, too, of course!).
Some quick housekeeping: As I mentioned yesterday, we did RAPIDLY reach capacity for our initial Zoom AMA session and decided to go ahead and add a second session. Everyone who has registered on our sign-up sheet thus far should have gotten an email last night with an update about the scheduling of the second session and a prompt to choose your preferred session of the two options we provided (which are on the same day and just a few hours apart).
Once you respond to that email prompt, you will soon after get a calendar alert so that you can save the date and time. That same alert will also contain your assigned Zoom link for your preferred session. Phew! So happy this worked out, and we're so excited to see so many of you next week in real time! (PS: Because we did add that second session, there ARE a few seats left for any paid subscribers of either my, Alice's, or Zlata's newsletters who still want to sign up!)
OK, that's it for now because I have a few great job leads to share today and a bunch of new pending stories that will need expert commentary. Let's get to it!
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Have a job lead? Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org - they are always free, and always welcome. This newsletter goes out six days a week, so if you have a preferred day to have it appear, let me know that as well - can't guarantee it will be that day, but I will do my best. Internship opportunities are welcome as well! Please remember to include location of the job and any contact information. Blind items are also OK if you are putting some feelers out but not ready to share the job is available.
Amtrak is seeking a Senior Manager, Public Relations in Washington, D.C. to join the company’s corporate communications team. This position plays a key role in supporting Amtrak’s Corporate Communications mission to develop, coordinate, implement and manage effective public relations campaigns. The individual will perform strategic planning, crisis communications work, conduct media relations, and serve as a corporate spokesperson. Please apply here.
SchroderHaus has an open Account Supervisor role. You can learn more here.
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!
RetailMeNot: The Best Labor Day 2022 Sales to Shop Now (keep checking back on this one for updates!)
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 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.
What is mulled cider? -- Pegged to National Mulled Cider Day. This is a piece for those who want to drink it all through the holidays out into the world. I'd like to chat with a chef or bartender or food historian about the history and get a recipe from either the chef or a food blogger. Would need to make sure there are photos with the recipe, too, if possible!
What to order at a Japanese restaurant - This is part of a series I'm working on about what to order for a specific cuisine. This is for the people (and we all have older relatives like this out there) who are extremely basic and regimented in what they eat and it's hard to get them to try anything new -- especially a new region of cuisine. So if they were to Google "what to I eat at..." it'd be a story like this. Or at least, that’s my plan!
I'm going to be doing a story on introducing someone like above to a Japanese restaurant (but not specifically sushi, though that’s obviously a component - it’s also its own category deserving of its own separate piece), and I'd love to chat with a Japanese chef/restaurant owner about the background and history of the cuisine. How would they describe it overall? If they could only use three words to describe it, what would they be? Do they think any other cuisines had a major influence on it? What dishes are their favorite? What would they tell someone about visiting a Japanese restaurant for the first time? Any advice? Should they be intimidated by the breadth of options?
And then I'd love to have them break down some of the dishes they'd recommend to newbies. Maybe some for if you're BASIC (haha) and then one that you should get if you want to be adventurous and one that's for the spicy-lover...maybe a must-try appetizer. Whatever! I'd also love to get photos of a few things on their own menu. And don't be afraid to storytell, too! Basically I'm going for - "what to order at a X restaurant. A chef and restaurant-owner explains." -- and if this goes well, I'm going to get to do it for other cuisines too, so that'll be fun!
I’m rounding up freebies, deals, and discounts at food chains in honor of the following upcoming food holidays:
National Coffee Day
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!)
For Forbes, I’m rounding up great takes on the martini in NYC - to pitch me for this, I’ll need a high res image of the martini (please send as a LINK, not as an attachment) as well as description of the martini and a quote from a bartender/owner/manager/chef at the restaurant/bar about the martini. I’m also going to incorporate a sidebar about creating a great martini at home, so I’m very open for pitches and commentary for that. By Friday please.
I'm working on the following new stories:
How to save at Uber Eats
How to save more at DoorDash
Shoppers Guide To Aldi - guide a first-time Aldi shopper through the differences (ie, shopping carts, checkout, etc.) Plus, ways Aldi helps you save (best products to buy there, etc.)
For all three of these, obviously I'm going to myself shop there and find ways to shop and save money and little time saving tips, but very open to expert advice as well.
I’ll be doing a roundup of the best frozen cauliflower crust pizzas - as in the best tasting/best for you ones you can buy. I’d love RDS and nutritionists (unaffiliated with a brand ideally) to weigh in for a variety of pizza crusts - and I have a list I can share when you email me, as far as nutrient composition: Is cauliflower actually a primary ingredient or way down the list? If there are binders like rice flour or whatever, how refined are they / how nutritionally void? Taste: does it actually taste good? - I have a lot more specific metrics, and items I specifically want to touch on, so please email me before sending commentary and I’ll tell you what I’m looking for. (As far as formatting, look to this boxed mac and cheese story I did for the same outlet as far as what I’m looking for.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get something on my schedule for this fall.
Are you confused about affiliate marketing?
If you are having trouble learning how to navigate issues of affiliate marketing (trust me, we've all been there!), you may want to try out my friend Sarah Karger, a publicist, and former editor Dana Baardsen (and all-around fab girl!)'s 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!)
That’s it for today! Have a great day and I’ll see you same place, same time, tomorrow!