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Lisa Samples from The Product Review Place An Interview

Lisa is the founder of The Product Review Place, a group that connects bloggers, review opportunities and consumers. The tagline for the group is Reviews. Defined. Refined. The Search Is Over. There are currently over 1510 members in this very active group. Many new and seasoned bloggers visit and join in on the forum and the groups. Lisa is a full time blogger at Mom of 2 Boys, Wife of 1.


Tell me about The Product Review Place.
Here is the idea behind the site:
1. A place for consumers to find product reviews all in one place.
2. A place for bloggers to get added exposure for their reviews and because they put snippets up on the site, it should give click-through to their blogs. It is also a place to learn about reviews and find pitches from companies/PR that need reviewers.
3. A place for companies and PR people to find reviewers who specialize in their products and a place to post pitches and press releases.

The idea came from the need for PR and bloggers to have a central location to develop relationships.  However, we wanted to be able to add value to the reviews that bloggers were doing by offering a place where reviews were centrally located.  This let consumers find reviews in one place (similar to Consumer Reports), it allowed PR people to see the work bloggers were doing and to gain more exposure for their brands, but it also offers reviewers more traffic to their blogs because they only post a portion on the review on the site and link it back to their blog.
What is your role in the forum?
My role, although it is very time consuming, is to ensure that reviews are being posted in the right place and that companies are able to find the right bloggers to represent their products.
How did you get involved in creating this forum?
Once I was pretty comfortable doing reviews I noticed there was an entire market that was not being tapped into.  I believed we could bring value to the table and although it is a work in progress, we have a lot of exciting things we are implementing this year.  I started it from scratch one night sitting at home and the next thing I knew we had over 100 members, then 200, and so on.  I pretty much decided within days that I couldn’t do it alone and knew the perfect person to help, Stacie from The Divine Miss Mommy.
What is the reason that you opened this forum?
To help other bloggers in developing a relationship with PR and to learn the in’s and out’s of doing reviews.
Where do you see growth in Social Media for forums like yours/or for your forum specifically?
There are so many tools that can be tied into our social network, such as Twitter.  We have been using it to promote bloggers, reviews, and posts as much as time allows, but it is almost time to bring on another person to help us out.
What do bloggers do that you wish you wouldn’t do/do that you like?
I wish bloggers wouldn’t dive into every pitch they see.  I think when you first start doing reviews, you get somewhat excited and don’t realize that your excitement is some times perceived as greed.  You have to nurture the relationship with PR and you can’t do that by begging for free products.  What I love about the bloggers is that they are all really eager to learn.

What do advertisers or PR people do that you wish they wouldn’t do/do that you like?
I love that they share their pitches on the site, but I wish they would utilize our services more.  I’m not entirely sure that they don’t but they shouldn’t be afraid to request that bloggers post their reviews teasers or snippets on TPRP.  We have hundreds of members who are just consumers that come on to the site just to read reviews.  I also wish more companies and PR people knew that we offer the service of doing campaigns, prescreen bloggers, and many other services.
What does the forum do to help the community?
We have a couple of groups that deal with Social Responsibility where we list various community service or charity type posts.  I think it is great for bloggers to give back as well – and we plan on doing some workshops about this in the future.
What is something that people can do for you and for The Product Review Place?
Be active and be patient.  We truly didn’t expect to have this many members in this short of time and we are experiencing growing pains since it is only Stacie and me doing all the work.  If we bring on another person we need to make sure they are the right fit for our team.
Where do you see the future of The Product Review Place?
I see it being huge!  I think the services we are going to be offer, especially with the Bloggers Select group are going to be so valuable.  The bloggers who join this group will be getting an incredible amount of benefits that you can’t find anywhere else.  I don’t want to spoil it too much because we are still working through the application process, but it should be a really helpful tool when it is launched.
Who do you recommend and why?
We have a lot of PR and bloggers who have been very active since we have started, but to name one or two people would be so unfair.  We are thankful for all of them!

A little about you…

Personally:  I work FT outside of the home as a Human Resource professional in aviation.  I blog full time and am currently working a 7-week intensive weightloss bootcamp with Mamavation and Bookieboo.  I have 2 boys, age 5 and 16, and a husband 13 years younger than myself.

One comment on “Lisa Samples from The Product Review Place An Interview

  • Sounds exciting Lisa. After blogging for a month I have noticed almost every blog site has reviews and such. I like what you said about bloggers diving into the first pitch they receive and that for me, I don’t want to do or over power my blog with so many PR. But in a business sense of it all, sounds like a great opportunity to get your feet wet and experience and learn the whole social media connections.

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