Discover more from Aly Walansky's Newsletter
Wednesday: How to stay motivated when it feels like the world is falling apart.
I know, the world lately feels like it’s a house of cards that’s begun to cave in.
That sometimes makes it hard to get motivated to write (and pitch, I’m sure!) the kind of content we chat about here — gift guides and recipe guides and the like. It all feels a bit …frivolous? — by comparison.
But at the end of the day, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and getting what we need to get done (even when some mornings, it’s so hard to get in that headspace…)
It’s hard to feel motivated (never mind productive!!!) during these increasingly trying times. But here’s some things that have been helping me:
Take a break. I know, that doesn’t sound like the way to get more done. But tonight I’m having an early dinner at a favorite spot with two of my very close friends. Taking little breaks helps you refocus.
Get support when you need it. Put your ego aside. I have a tendency of slapping a smile on my face and pretending I’m happy and having fun even when I’m not. Cherish your support system that you can be real with and who will lift you up, not bring you down. Studies have shown that positivity is contagious! If you are around people that make you feel better, you WILL feel better.
Try something new. Just to put yourself out there. Visit a new state or country, or try a new activity you’ve never done before. Recently, I went to my first sound bath exercise and that same day, tried coffee cupping. Did you know, there’s actually studies that have been done that have proven, when we try something new it will trigger the section of your brain brain that releases dopamine? That’s the motivation chemical!
Write down your goals. Call it a to-do list, call it an agenda, call it a calendar, call it a diary. And then, share those goals with your friends. It’ll make you accountable and keep you to the plan. We all need some time to be sad — but setting positive goals is a form of affirmation.
Focus on fixing what you can. God, there’s so much out there we can’t do anything about. It’s terrifying and helpless. But not hopeless. Treat each day as a chance to make a tiny positive investment in your day, and your life. Even if that’s making a wholesome, healthy dinner so you feel a little bit about the body you’ve been feeling insecure about — it counts.
So, take a moment, take a deep breath….because there’s a whole lot of new content (and pending assignments!) to get through today…
Yesterday, for HerMoney, I wrote about The Best Free Or Low Cost Sleep Apps (because, as I said on Facebook — if you can’t do, teach!), and for Martha Stewart, I gathered 19 Walk-In Pantry Ideas for a More Functional, Organized Space (thanks so much for all the EXCELLENT commentary I got from your clients!).
But the news you are all here for: For Forbes, my first HGG of the season has published (and another one will publish tomorrow!) Holiday Gift Guide 2023: The Best Pink Kitchen Gifts For Barbie Lovers. Also for Forbes.com, I wrote about Chrissy Teigen's Latest Collab Is A Delicious Holiday Pairing.
Finally, yesterday for The Kitchn, I wrote about This $1 Costco Treat Has Shoppers Buying Cases at Time.
(What can I say? Yesterday was a busy day….)
Scroll below to the pending assignments section, because I have some content I’m working on this week that needs chef commentary ASAP and I’d love to be able to use some of your clients!
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!
Buy my cookbook!
I contributed a recipe and some commentary to a Jewish recipes cookbook and the 100% of the proceeds go to JFSLA, and earmarked for Food & Hunger Programs specifically. Order it here.
PS: I love doing podcasts!
My latest podcast appearance, on the Media In Minutes podcast, is now live! This was a really fun one:
I recently recorded a guest appearance on the True Story public relations podcast with Whitney Lee, and we chatted about everything from pitching to press tours and how to build a more personal connection (more important now than ever).
Recently, I was also a guest on the Eat.Drink.Social podcast, and we chatted about my upcoming travel, recent press trip experiences, and so much more. Check out my guest appearance a little while ago on Jamie Stone’s A Little Too Much podcast. We had SO much fun discussing everything from the changing landscape of events and trips to our thoughts on some emerging food and cocktail trends.
Some of my latest podcast appearances include Media Circus Podcast with Taiisha Bradley, as well as the Italian Wine Podcast, where we discussed all things Substack, and the Coffee N° 5 podcast, where we chatted about effective strategies for promoting emerging brands to journalists and securing media coverage. Other recent podcast appearances include the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ podcast with the incredible (and super fun!) Lexie Smith, where we covered everything from press dinners and events and trips to, well, sippin’!
I’ve recorded a few others that should be live soon as well and I’m always open to doing more — email me at email@example.com.
HerMoney: The Best Free Or Low Cost Sleep Apps
Martha Stewart: 19 Walk-In Pantry Ideas for a More Functional, Organized Space
Taste of Home: This Butter Hack Is Going Viral and You Need to Try It
Reader’s Digest: The 24 Most Haunted Hotels in America
Martha Stewart Living: 13 Small Space Storage Ideas That Find a Place for Everything
Southern Living: Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
Southern Living: Can You Eat The Skin Of Delicata Squash?
Martha Stewart Living: How to Store Your Clothes If You Don't Have a Closet
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.
I’m working on a story on: The Best Breads to Use for Stuffing (Beyond the Usual), According to a Chef. I’d love to speak with a chef and get a list of about 6 breads beyond the expected sourdough, white, etc. that people can use for their stuffing. Along with the bread type, I’d love to chat recipe ideas for that type of bread as well, like (this is totally made up) but for example: Cinnamon raisin bread; it's a great addition to a sausage-cranberry-sage stuffing tktktk. Please email me asap, have to wrap this one up in the next few days.
For Forbes, I’m looking for spots online offering some variant of “Thanksgiving in a box” that you can have shipped to you in time for the holiday - this can be either cooked and complete meals you just reheat and serve or recipe kits.
National Pickle Day is coming up and Aly Walansky LOVES pickles. So, tell me all the fun pickle dishes AND cocktails you have at your restaurants. I don’t care if it’s a pickle martini or a pickle pizza, I’m listening. Please pitch me with the name of the dish, where it’s available (restaurant name, city, state), description, quote about dish, and an image of the dish via a link to a dropbox…thanks!
I’m also working on two holiday gift guides (and I am so happy to say you do NOT need to be on any sort of affiliate network to pitch for these! This will hopefully widen the net and give some smaller brands with creative, unique products a shot to be included!).
The best meaty gifts for the meat lover - So online butcher steak boxes, the wagyu, the porterhouses, the ribeyes. All the beefy gift sets you can order online and have shipped.
The best gifts for the sushi lover -- So, fun DIY sushi kits. But also maybe fun mail order sushi grade fish, chopsticks, good wasabi or soy sauce or rice, or even sushi themed socks and stuff like that.
To pitch for any of these, please remember to include ALL the following:
Name of product
link where sold, price
image of product
I’m working on two freezer related explainers - Can You Freeze Celery? and also Can You Freeze Green Onions? - and I’d love some chefs and RDs and food safety experts to weigh in.
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 (and now in-person!) 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’m available for PR team virtual meetings to answer questions about pitching, events, and trips from a media perspective. Note: I’m also available to travel for consulting sessions as long as travel expenses are covered. We can chat! This is available for entire agencies or smaller group lunch and learn type concepts.
Have a great day!