Image showing Sally, an automated hands free salad maker at the Willy Street Coop in Madison WI.

Even a robot needs help: How an idea becomes a TV news story

Image showing Sally, an automated hands free salad maker at the Willy Street Coop in Madison WI.

The Right Touch at the Right Time Yields Results. Public Relations By The Creative Company.

The mention in the Willy Street Co-op’s May newsletter spotlighted a new machine about to debut at the store’s East location. It would also be a first for Madison.

The Co-op’s Prepared Foods Manager wrote about Sally the Salad Robot, created by Chowbotics. Sally offers thousands of custom meal and snack options from any combination of up to 22 ingredients. Users can interact with instant nutritional details to fine-tune a meal by adding or subtracting ingredients.

Sounds cool, right? The Co-op’s member-owners could read about Sally in the publication they get in the mail, and so could a visitor to the Co-op’s website who knew enough to search for Sally. But if you weren't a customer of the East Side store, you might not know about Sally.

We at The Creative Company sensed Sally could make a bigger splash, especially as the first of its kind in the market. Traditional salad bars had been shut down since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with things opening up in the wake of vaccinations, many people have concerns with salad bars and buffets they didn’t consider before the novel coronavirus struck.

Sally didn’t just meet a need. Her debut matched the zeitgeist.

So we worked with the Co-op and Chowbiotics’ PR team on a news release, and we sent it once we were sure Sally was up and operating in the Willy Street East store.

Newsrooms get flooded with releases every day. Sending one on even an interesting topic doesn’t assure anything will happen. We timed our release for the part of the day just before the TV news departments had their story meetings. Our Director of PR called the assignment desks within minutes of the send.

Sure enough, Sally caught the eye of a news director, who then reached out. They sent a reporter to interview the Prepared Foods Manager and show Sally in action. The story aired not only on that station's evening broadcasts and morning shows, but also on its sister stations in La Crosse and Wausau.

The moral of the story? Even the most skilled robot can use a savvy PR team to get its story out. Let us help you share your news with the world.

Do you want to increase your brand's awareness? Our savvy public relations professionals can make it happen! Get started today.

Chris DuPre
Director of Public Relations