Discover more from Aly Walansky's Newsletter
Wednesday: Why hitting recall on emails doesn't work how you may think it does. Also: What I'm currently working on!
Also: Please send me your Father's Day sales info ASAP.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Nothing makes me want to read something like telling me I shouldn’t read it.
Call it a lifetime of journalistic intrigue, call it being a card-carrying and proud yenta, but nothing makes a gal like me eager to open a door or a window or an email like a closed sign.
The reason I brought this up this morning is just as I was opening my browser to send this email, I received a recall email alert for an email pitch that had been sent earlier this morning.
The email header read along the lines of: RECALL: XXX Announces YYY
(Redacted, of course. The announcement was recalled after all.)
But the point is: I may have thousands of unread emails in my inbox. But the first one I’ll read each and every time? The one that just received a recall alert telling me not to read.
Cue: A dozen people attempting to send me an email with RECALL in the header as a cute work-around…
Just a reminder that a sent email is out of your control, and at the end of the day, there’s no real way to go back and undo an email that’s already sent out. It’s not like deciding to delete a comment on a website or a like on a photo.
Yes, Gmail and Outlook and lots of other email providers do have “recall” email options. But if the recipient has already received or - better yet - already read your message, there’s no way to go back in time and erase that message. Instead, the recipient will just be told you want to recall — i.e them not to read the message. In fact, it’ll draw MORE attention to that email you don’t want read, because then both email and the recall request will be in that person’s inbox. So, imagine you are sending that recall because the first email had a really embarrassing typo in the header. You’ve just made it extra easy to spot!
As I never like to send these sort of emails out without offering something actionable - I offer instead a solution rather than that recall. Consider scheduling ahead or doing time delays on those big email send-outs.
Gmail lets you use an “Undo Send” feature, it works only a few seconds after you send an email, but that gives you time to change your mind (God, how I wish I had that in the days of instant messaging in my younger, more dramatic years!) and undo the email BEFORE it is sent.
However, there’s another option. Gmail also lets you schedule ahead emails. I use this A LOT when answering emails late at night or on holidays and weekends, when I don’t want to disturb the recipient at that specific time — I may write an email on Saturday afternoon but schedule it for Monday morning.
But the same scheduling feature can help in a different way. If you are working on a pitch to send out or an important email, perhaps write it as a draft first and save it in that folder, or schedule it to go out later that day or the next day. Give yourself time to go back with fresh eyes and scan for any issues you may want to edit, typos you want to correct, links you may want to fix — whatever. Save yourself that recall button (that doesn’t actually work anyway), and send out the email the way you want it to be received.
In other news, I have a few newly published pieces I’m super excited about. For Forbes.com, I interviewed someone with a really fascinating gig — she’s a full-time forager for an Irish distillery! How cool is that? I also have a few new pieces ranging from healthy inexpensive dinner ideas to the finding a unique afternoon tea experience in the most unexpected of places. Scroll down to the newly published section below to check out these and other new stories!
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!
RetailMeNot: Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad
Runner’s World: How Your Prerun Fueling Affects Energy Levels
Mashed.com: Tips For Making The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg
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.
Trader Joe’s Foods That Help You Destress, Say Nutritionists - Experts will tell you that there’s certain foods that help you destress naturally. Can these foods be found at a place such as Trader Joe’s? I’m looking for RDs and nutritionists to weigh in on foods currently in the aisles at Trader Joe’s that have ingredients/properties known to help people destress naturally - and why that is. Please email me if you have anyone who can comment. This is going to be an interesting one!
The Best Father's Day Sales to Shop Now: I’m working on an update of this story from last year. A lot of these might change, so note any run-through dates IF the retailer has those when pitching me. Otherwise, it's OK to describe the sale as "for a limited time." I’m going to try to include spots such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ancestry, 23andMe, Fitbit IF they are throwing a sale. If pitching me for this one or the July 4th version below, please be sure to include what's on sale, how to shop it, the promo code (if any). Maybe the promo code is storewide, so that makes it super flexible. Whatever the shopper needs to know about how and WHY to shop the sale.
I’m also updating these two July 4th stories from last year (that I wrote, so I’m updating myself!)
Please look at last year’s version for an idea of format and what I’m looking for - and if I included your store hours or sales last year, feel free to reach out and give me updates!
For Forbes, I’ve been assigned several Father’s Day gift guides. They are:
The Best Gifts For Grillers
The Best Gifts To Stock His Freezer
To pitch for ALL these gift guides, please be sure to submit in this format:
Name of product
retailer where sold, link, price (I’m open to smaller retailers, I want to have really unique great finds)
few sentences description
LINK to image
Please no commentary of gifting experts telling me their favorite gift ideas. NOT looking for experts to quote or commentary for this story. And due to the extreme volume of responses expected: ONLY pitches that follow the above format can be considered.
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've been popping into a lot of PR team virtual meetings and some other fun stuff 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. Note: I’m also available to travel for consulting sessions as long as travel expenses are covered. We can chat!
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!
Have a great day!