Aly Walansky is a freelance writer who covers food, travel, beauty and other lifestyle topics and products for publications like Men’s Journal, Paste Magazine, Today.com, and many, many more. You might catch her HARO queries from time to time but make sure you you read this interview before pitching her. One piece of advice straight from Aly: research her like you’d research a date – they’re both important relationships, and including a personal touch will go a long way.
1) What’s the best way to pitch you?
Email is the best, always. I really don’t love phone pitches or those via facebook or twitter or instagram DM. It’s way easier to have it all in one place.
2) What’s the best time to pitch you?
Honestly, there’s no wrong time.I know it’s not very sexy but I’m online 7 days a week and check my emails constantly. I do not mind late night or weekend pitches.
3) What kind of stories interest you?
Travel, sex, food, beauty, I cover the whole lifestyles umbrella.
4) What tips would you give someone pitching you?
Please never pitch with PDFs or massive images attached. Sometimes I am reading from my phone or on a plane and that can REALLY slow me down and drain data. Other than that, try to be clear. Pitches with titles like “quick question” or “hello” are annoying unless we’re actually friends or you actually have a quick question.
5) What will you never write about?
I never say never, but I’m unlikely to cover sports or extreme action adventure.
6) What’s the best pitch you ever got?
It was a male grooming company, they sent a mailer of some products and made a collage of photos of my dog. I know it sounds weird, but I treasure it because it really showed they pay attention.
7) Do you prefer to receive news in a press release or a different format?
Honestly even a paragraph of an email is fine.
8) How do you feel about embargoes?
I’m totally fine with it!
9) What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make when pitching you?
Facebook messages. Especially if we are not friends. It may go to my message requests folder and I’ll likely not see it until after the deadline.
10) What’s the biggest misconception/s that you think people have about the media?
That we’re lunching and partying day in and day out. I work nonstop!