InsideOutdoor is a unique trade publication dedicated exclusively to helping outdoor specialty retailers and product vendors improve their daily operations. We sat down with Editor-in-Chief, Martin Vilaboy, to learn more about his publication, talk about the future of the outdoor industry, and ask how PR professionals affect his work on a daily basis.
Account coordinator, Sarah Steinwand, conducted this interview.
Where are you from, and how long have you been an editor for Inside Outdoor?
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to Tempe, Ariz. in 1993. I’ve been an editor with IO since its launch in 2002 and was editor-in-chief of Outfitter magazine for many years before then.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Well, “free time” is a relative thing. But when I get some, I enjoy hiking, biking and camping with my wife and kids, coaching the kids’ baseball/softball teams, writing side projects and hitting the gym with an iPod playing loud in my ears.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
The opportunity to always be learning and researching new things and getting to talk to really smart people about the things they know a lot about. I also enjoy the process of going from “blank slate” to a finished issue.
How do you think Inside Outdoor helps outdoor specialty retailers and product vendors improve their daily operations the most?
By doing the research they often don’t have time to do themselves while running their businesses. Whereas most trade publications focus on straight news and covering “the industry,” we try to complement that content with in-depth, thoroughly researched features on topics that impact the business models of our readers. Some recent article topic examples could include streamlining supply chains by working with vendors that manufacture in the USA, combating “showrooming” by providing in-store Wi-Fi, reducing retail technology cost by using cloud services, keeping pace with hyper-connected consumers and e-commerce margin compression.
How do you think the Outdoor Industry will change in the next 10 years?
I think the industry could go in one of two opposite directions. Organic growth of the core outdoor sports seems unlikely, so I could see the industry continuing to embrace new activities and product categories, such as we’ve seen happen at the OR shows, which could take the industry in directions most would not have expected 10 years ago. We would see more influence from areas such as action sports, surf, road running/biking and even some motorized sports. I also could see groups serving the “core” sports in the industry (camping, climbing, paddling, backpacking, hiking, etc.) feeling lost in this larger world and breaking off to get “back to their roots,” so to speak, much the way the outdoor industry separated itself from the larger ski and hunting/fishing markets many years ago.
How do PR professionals make your job easier/harder on a daily basis?
I can’t think of many ways PR companies make my job “harder.” Quite the opposite, I find PR companies are there to quickly get me the information or contacts I need 95 out of 100 times.
What is the one tip you would like to give a PR agency like Verde when working with a publication such as yours?
This may not be how other editors feel, but from my perspective, I recommend they keep the information, releases and pitch ideas coming. It’s easy to say no or delete an email. I’d rather be kept in the loop because you never know when your email or call may apply to something I am working on or compiling for later. That said, my getting emails about the newest developments in defibrillators or noise-cancelling head phones is a waste of everyone’s time, so have a basic understanding of the readers being served by the publication or Web site.