Aly Walansky is a freelance lifestyle journalist. She is a contributor to Today, Men’s Health, FoodNetwork, AskMen, INSIDER.com, Reader’s Digest, Women’s Health Mag, along with many other titles.
Tell us how you got your start? Tell us your story!
Wow! OK, pretty standard, I guess. I grew up loving to read – magazines, books, posters on the side of the road. I hear from my mom I once had a temper tantrum in the mall because a sign in a pizza place had a typo. Clearly it was in the cards for me to go into the editorial world! In college, I had a double major in classic English lit and journalism, with a minor in creative writing – and I was the editor of the school paper (actually from my sophomore year on, which made me the youngest EIC the campus paper had had to that date) – after college though, I decided I wasn’t really into “news” type reporting – I wanted to write about fun stuff, so I started to pitch magazines and digital outlets with what I was interested in, from relationships to hair to food. And that’s still essentially what I’m doing!
Tell us how you came to start working in the media scene?
Well, early on (I’m pretty old!) pitching was more of an isolated thing. You sent emails to editors, you hoped they wrote back. Everyone being connected digitally came later. Now, you have the ability to stalk people. Like, wondering if an editor is alive or just ignoring your email? Check their Instagram. Don’t message them asking why they are ignoring you, though…that’s creepy (and it’s stuff that’s done to me a lot…) – but now, it’s impossible NOT to be in the scene if you want your writing to be read and shared. I share all my stories on my social media networks.
Any favorite stories or articles?
I wrote a story for MIC about a year ago on how young farmers are far less common than they once were, and because of that, there’s less innovation in the agriculture world – and there’s a need for millennials to find farming to be “cool” for the industry to have a future. It was SO interesting. Of course..my most fun writing is anything about the royals!
Where did you grow up?
Brooklyn! My parents still live in Gravesend (a classic Brooklyn neighborhood right outside Coney Island).
Where do you live now?
Park Slope (so, still Brooklyn!)
Favorite type of music?
You’ll laugh, but my favorite music to stream as I work is ballads of the 80s and 90s.
I’m such a girl. PINK.
Least favorite food?
I loathe runny egg yolks. I don’t mind if eggs are IN the food I eat, as an ingredient, but throwing a runny egg on top of my food is a sure way to make me not eat it. I also can’t stand hollandaise, or ranch dressing.
Three things readers would be surprised to know about you?
- I live in a super tiny apartment – a 4th floor walkup studio. I feel like that surprises people because I get a LOT of packages I share on Instagram…they would probably wonder where I put it!
- I have three dogs…they are the loves of my life!
- I love to cook, but I’m totally intimidated by baking…help.
Do you take pitches? If so, any guidelines?
Only 400 or so a day…haha! Seriously all I can ask is to respect boundaries. Email me any time with any PR pitch. But please don’t text/facetime me if we don’t know each other. It’s creepy.
What is the lead time you need for content or pitches?
For any sort of holiday stuff, you need to do it at least a few weeks out. But I do same-day content ALL THE TIME for more breaking news.
What should (and shouldn’t) people be pitching to you?
Sports. Unless it involves Prince Harry. (joking!).
Do you have a question for Aly? Comment below or Tweet her at @alywalansky.
This blog originally appeared on the website of HMA PR.