Wednesday: There's still time to pitch my pending gift guides. Also: Here's how you can win a FREE consulting session with me for your entire company.
Today is going to be a pretty busy day for me because I’m readying to head out of the country on Friday (first time I’ve said that since 2020!!!), and I really need to get my butt in gear as far packing.
(Fun aside: Notice those cute little orange bestseller verified checks next to our names on my and many of our friends’ Substacks for the last week or so? It essentially just means we all hit a certain level of paid subscribers (though the vast majority for many of us are free.) But personally speaking: I think the new orange check designation is really cool and I especially love it because it feels like a giant F-U to the whole Twitter Blue train wreck, especially given the timing.)
Back to my travels this week! I’m really excited about this trip because it’s hosted by a good friend and I also have good friends attending, so it already promises to be a great time and amazing memories before I even get on the plane.
(And in really cool life happens fast news, my *second* trip out of the country since 2020 is in less than two weeks! And that’s hosted by another old friend I’m super excited to be reunited with.)
Enough about me…except this is something kind of about me…A reminder: You have just a week left to win a FREE consulting session for your agency or business.
I announced a few weeks ago I was embarking on an exciting holiday promotion. I am going to encourage everyone here to share this newsletter with their colleagues within their agency/firm/business.
Just forward this email along to those people in the next cubicle or who you see at lunch, you meet at the weekly company Zooms.
Because I am going to offer what I think is a powerful incentive: The agency that has the most new subscriber sign-ups to my Substack by Thanksgiving will get a FREE virtual consulting session with me during the month of December. This is something I normally charge for, and is a great deep dive into all sorts of media issues and I’ll do it for one agency for free - if they have the most sign-ups to my Substack this month.
And it doesn’t even have to be paid subscribers. I’d LOVE that, of course, but I’m convinced once they hang around here for a bit and see the added value, they’ll want to upgrade anyway - I just want to expand the community here for the betterment of all of us. I can share how best to pitch me, and you can learn a bit from my experience in the process. And, besides, the more people who receive my newsletter, the more awesome pitches I can receive, and the more of your clients I can include - and we ALL win there.
This is the holiday season, you are pitching about gifting, I’m writing about gifting, but let’s remember that at the core, it’s really about being generous with one another. Let me be generous with you.
Free app I’m loving right now
I have a bunch of friends I voice note with during the day, and often I will have to stop mid-thought because a truck is going down the block or loud construction is happening. Last week, I even was interrupted by a motorcycle. Such is living in a loud, busy, crowded city. It’s one thing if I’m just casually voice noting a friend - it’s another if I’m in a virtual meeting or an online event, so I did some research and came across this: It’s free software you can use to help eliminate background noise.
(And, no, this is not an ad. I just found it to be helpful, and I hope it is for you too!)
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!
Southern Living: How To Travel With Food This Thanksgiving
Eat This, Not That: 7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Make in Your Air Fryer
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.
Guess what? I’m working on two more Forbes holiday gift guides! See the details below, as well as how to pitch me:
Great gifts for hot cocoa lovers - I’m looking for like, fancy cocoa sets you can buy online, maybe artisan marshmallows, hot cocoa flavored other things that are sold, a cute mug, etc?
Great gifts for martini lovers - Yes, I want your vodka/gin pitches, but also good olives, pretty glasses, barware, maybe some sort of way to keep them extra cold?
As a reminder, the format for pitching this and any of my holiday gift guides is:
Name of product
Where sold (URL), price
description/why it is a fit for this particular topic
LINK to high res image
(and please make sure this item is in stock and available to ship before the holidays before pitching me.)
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.
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 for this fall.
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!)