Want. Need. Love. Wanelo.

A couple weeks ago I was introduced to Wanelo, which comes from the three words WAnt NEed LOve. It’s a lot like an online shopping mall, minus the food court. My obsession for food has actually been replaced by Wanelo. I’m surprised it isn’t more popular.

According to the site, “Wanelo is a social store curated by the community. Users post, collect and organize products and follow people and stores they like.” It’s similar to Pinterest in the sense that you can repost items and sort them into different categories, and you can follow the stores and users of your choice.

Wanelo is more specific than Pinterest and is primarily for shopping. Pinterest includes pictures of cute puppies and craft ideas, whereas every picture on Wanelo includes a direct link to the site where you can actually purchase that product. It’s shopping made easy. The layout is simple and the site is easy to navigate. It’s so hassle-free that I was able to spend ten straight hours last Sunday browsing through site and saving everything that I’d consider buying.

Not only is it a great platform for users to shop online, it’s also a great tool for small businesses and independent retailers. Best of all, it’s free! It’s a great way to get your brand out there. The top of the page even says “Find unique products and stores you’ve never heard of.”

It really does help users do just that. During the countless hours I’ve spent looking through products and saving things I like, I’ve found so many neat stores and independent retailers that I had never heard of. Not only have I found them, but I’ve also purchased from them. I’ve introduced the site to some of my friends, and they’ve also bought things you can’t just find walking into a mall, like customized vintage shorts.

It’s been a few weeks since I first used Wanelo, and I’m still addicted. I’m sure it’ll continue to grow as more and more retailers and consumers are introduced to the free and useful platform. I strongly suggest checking it out and utilizing it to get your brand out there.

2008 PR Trends

It’s always good to stay on top of the PR trends so here are a few standouts to help you better spotlight your clients in 2008.

Hope they help and Best in 2008!

Blog is the name of the game these days – you can monitor stories about your clients and their competitors and/or pitch and place valuable content.  Consider distributing your client messages to independent bloggers as well as corporate blogs through a credible third party.  In terms of market penetration, blogging is definitely creating “word of mouth” buzz in the marketplace.  A few of the top blogs are gizmodo.com for tech/gadgets, tmz.com for Hollywood gossip, huffingtonpost.com for politics and treehugger.com for eco/lifestyles.

You’ve probably heard that online surfing is the thing to do while doing lunch at your desk and more folks are surfing than eating these days!  So, take whatever video you’ve already produced for your client, or produce new video, and think about placing it online on websites that already attract your target demos.  For example, for moms there’s iVillage or Ladies Home Journal, or smaller sites that, when added together, will still generate a solid audience.

Speaking of video, think funny and think offbeat to really get the YouTubers and other onliners to click on and then forward to their friends.  If it’s viral and video, it’s healthy.

Mobile gizmos and gadgets can generate a whole new audience for your client messages.  Breakthrough technology in mobile websites can target the growing audiences that are attached to cell phones and mobile e-mail daily.  Your client will need a version of their website that is tailored for displays on mobile screens and we anticipate a spike in the number of companies/clients who will have their sites mobile-ready in 2008.

The top ten mobile sites include Google.com, WashingtonPost.com, Ask.com, Yahoo.com Flickr.com, Live.com, Facebook.com, Overstock.com, Weather.com and USA Today.com.

We’ll soon be in full-tilt presidential election mode and that will tighten up traditional media programming and inventory for 2008, especially in battle ground states.  So, strategic story placements for your clients are key.  Look for election-related hooks for radio and TV such as the economy, housing, healthcare, the environment, etc., but also think outside the box to include online audio and video and e-mail marketing where there’s literally “more room” to deliver your message to target demos to pump up those audience numbers.

It’s just good business to create a name for your clients online as well as offline especially on the off the hook social networking sites.  Think about placing promotional banners, client content or actually joining online communities (YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, iSaveSmart, Bebo) to promote your client message.