KUKA Robotics is a global intelligent automation supplier based in Germany that was looking to build North American credibility before the world’s largest manufacturing conference. Through a strategic public relations program that focused on industry trends and leveraged reporter relationships, Walker Sands landed KUKA 52 placements in various media publications — bolstering their coverage before, during and after the conference.
Read the full project overview
Robotic solutions have dominated the Asian market for years, and now U.S. manufacturers are looking to these solutions to boost efficiency, streamline operations and cut production costs. KUKA knew it needed to capitalize on the market demand.
Additionally, with the world’s largest manufacturing conference, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), quickly approaching, KUKA needed help establishing credibility in the U.S. The company also wanted to develop and execute a long-term media relations strategy to reach automotive, manufacturing, packaging, electronics and welding audiences well beyond the conference.
KUKA came to Walker Sands for a strategic public relations program that would give it the boost it needed to highlight its expertise and capabilities in North America.
Although the company was regularly included in annual industry reports, KUKA had yet to establish itself as a thought leader in top-tier and industry news outlets. To generate more coverage, Walker Sands developed a media outreach plan that included a steady stream of story ideas, including a look at how robots can offset new tariffs from the latest NAFTA changes. This piece highlighted KUKA’s capabilities and expertise in robotics, automotive, welding, manufacturing and more.
Walker Sands also got to work leveraging new and existing reporter relationships at key industry publications, such as Manfacturing.net and Electronic Design. The efforts cemented KUKA executives as go-to sources for expert commentary on topics like human-robot collaboration, AI, steel and aluminum tariffs, product prototyping and more.
When IMTS arrived, Walker Sands hit the ground running to create buzz around KUKA’s presence at the show, securing a series of interviews with attending media, which the robotics provider had not gained at past events. The team spearheaded an aggressive strategy to earn coverage before, during and after IMTS by tying timely industry trends, such as edge computing, to KUKA’s presentations and solution demonstrations.
As the year came to a close, another major industry event was just around the corner. Automate, a major robotics and automation industry conference in Chicago, was a critical opportunity for KUKA to meet with prospects and showcase its extensive capabilities. Walker Sands leveraged its strong relationships with reporters in the industry to secure on-site interviews and maximize KUKA’s impact at the show.
In nine months, Walker Sands secured 52 total placements for KUKA, 11 of which were in top-tier publications, including:
- Forbes: More Women Cracking The Auto Industry's Glass Ceiling With Skills, Thick Skin
- Electronic Design: An Electronic Manufacturer’s Guide to Modular Robots
- Automotive Design & Production: Collaborative Robots: What You Should Know
- Manufacturing.net: What Industry 4.0 Means for Manufacturers
Placements in these key outlets helped KUKA develop a strong voice across its target audiences, and the company’s executives were established as go-to sources for expert commentary within their industry. Soon, reporters were proactively reaching out for KUKA’s executives to comment on their stories – from robotic screwdriving to the future of 3D printing.
The Walker Sands team’s conference outreach was also a success. Thanks to their timely outreach around IMTS, the team secured five on-site media interviews and seven published articles, including coverage in Assembly Magazine and Cutting Tool Engineering, which helped increase foot traffic to KUKA’s show booth and boosted its post-show credibility. After IMTS, Walker Sands continued to build KUKA’s relationship with the editor at Cutting Tool Engineering, resulting in eight placements highlighting the stages of automation, new partnerships and robotics in the auto industry.
By the time Automate arrived in April, the team was able to leverage its strong reporter relationships to secure nine on-site interviews with outlets including Engineering.com, Robotics Business Review, Advanced Manufacturing and The Robot Report.
These placements and industry exposure helped KUKA break through the noise in the crowded manufacturing space to establish itself as a leading expert in intelligent automation solutions. By earning coverage in all of its key verticals, including electronics, automotive and manufacturing, and distinguishing itself as a must-see supplier at industry trade shows, KUKA is better positioned to gain and maintain the attention of North American manufacturers as a leading industry voice.