Whatsup PR founder Beth Cochran is here with me today sharing stories about her 25-year Outdoor Career, the PR space, we talk about the OR Show, and plenty more.
2022 is Beth’s 25th anniversary in the Outdoor Industry.
Do you love to read but don’t always have the time to sit down with a good book?
I’m the same and sometimes I just feel like having someone else tell the story.
Audible is like having a library on your phone.
Beth’s first Outdoor Experiences
My folks bought a funny 1970s paneled cabin with avocado fixtures and shag carpet, not glamorous. It was a real estate cabin, but it was on a stream with a waterfall up above. And then behind us was National Forest Service land. And it was in Perry Park. It’s south of Denver along this beautiful Ridgeline of red rocks. You’ve got these beautiful rock formations. They’re stunning. And across the stream was this funky old, dirty barn that I loved. And I hung out there every single day. I was the youngest of four kids and everybody was grown. There at the barn, I just hung out and took care of this ornery pony for a couple of summers till everybody knew I was ready for a horse and we were loaned a horse. But I worked at that barn all the time shoveling, feeding, cleaning, and I did Four H State Fairs. So I think that, that Colorado outdoor kind of grit was born then.
What I discovered, which I’m so grateful for. I worked on the manufacturing side and I worked on the ad side. So both sides of what the product needs to get to market. And from that to me, there was a gap from what the manufacturer needed. I think the model of ad agencies works well, but for me, actually working for the manufacturer, I felt the manufacturer’s needs still weren’t being met.
So that’s why I saw a need of knowing how busy production product development, marketing, all the internal people are so maxed at trying to get the product tomorrow. That they can’t quite communicate it to the ad firm or to the consumer. So I felt I could create a hybrid where I could come in surgically and help these manufacturers reach the public through PR communications events, and athletes.
And that was all just emerging in 1997. There were definitely big New York and LA firms doing this, but in our market sector, small emerging to mid-size brands, that’s not something they really allocated. What’s up PR was born out of this ability to stay nimble and provide services that internally brands could utilize.
She conservatively projected what sales could, would, might be what their losses would be. And then she jumped on board, expanding her digital reach for digital marketing digital platform. And at the same time, took a bold move and anticipated the supply chain situation, worked with factories ahead of time. Worked with her suppliers ahead of time, negotiated shipping, and hedged on the challenges. So everything this fall arrived on time because she ordered it earlier and she put down deposits earlier and she worked with her factories.
They have very close relationships with their retailers and they’ve been conservative on their direct-to-consumer sales online on their website. So during this period, they held back the online sales that they put up on their website, they directed all sales to the retailers. If you’re looking for the shirt, you can find it here, all across America, right at the brick and mortar and online stores. And then prior to that, they have an RSV program whereby participating retailers, i a shirt, jacket, pants are sold online, they attached it to the retailer account and at the end of the year, any sale online to that partnership, that retailer gets a check within the year for the margin share.
Skiing, river running, cycling
What is your favorite outdoor gear purchased under a hundred dollars?
Camp Stove and Headlamp
Let’s just all do our part to remember just in a simple way to ask your friends, ask your neighbor to take them camping, take them fishing, take them hiking. Don’t take it for granted that everybody’s busy. They don’t have time. They don’t know the equipment. They don’t have the equipment. They don’t know where to get it. They don’t want to spend money on it, so they don’t do it.
So share your equipment, share your garage. Open up the closet and take someone out.