Nowadays, many people see Tesla as the car brand that’s pushing innovation and technology forward in the car industry. There’s a lot of truth in that idea, as Tesla has done a lot to help make the car industry greener. That said, the company just made another bold choice, but this time, it doesn’t relate to its cars.
Tesla no longer has a PR team
According to Electrek, a source who works at Tesla plainly said, “We no longer have a PR Team.” This is actually not that much of a surprise for many reporters, according to Electrek, since reporters have rarely been able to get in contact with Tesla since the start of the year. On top of that, Electrek wrote that many people who were on Tesla’s PR team had left the company or changed positions within Tesla months ago.
That said, while Electrek is pretty sure that the company’s PR team is no more, the site hasn’t been able to confirm it with Tesla’s official PR department, and Tesla hasn’t officially announced it. It’s possible that the PR team is just so small that it hasn’t been able to get to everything, but it’s also possible that Electrek’s source is accurate and Tesla has gotten rid of its PR department entirely.
The PR team was always small
Fred Lambert, who wrote the article for Electrek, said that his past experience in dealing with Tesla’s PR team was mixed at best. This wasn’t unusual for him, however, as many automakers have PR departments that have both positive and negative experiences with the press. However, what was unusual was the size and scale of Tesla’s PR team.
According to Electrek, the company’s PR team was “one-tenth of the size of a PR team for an automaker of Tesla’s size and probably 20 times smaller than the PR teams at most major automakers.” On top of that, Electrek also said that the company’s PR team had a high turnover rate.
While the PR team is seemingly gone, Electrek did note that Tesla will still be maintaining its PR teams in Europe and Asia. On top of that, Electrek thinks that this bold decision, which is apparently the first time it’s happened in the car industry, is pretty on-brand for the company.
Why this decision makes sense for Tesla
Tesla and Elon Musk have had a rocky hill to climb, to say the least. They’ve had many critics in the past, and while some critics were probably wrong, some critics were probably right, too.
Regardless, critics, as well as some of the media, have both become an enemy to Musk and Tesla, according to Electrek. Electrek said that Musk had claimed that the media doesn’t treat him or his company fairly, so it’s not surprising that it would remove its PR department.
By not having a PR department, the company doesn’t engage with the media or critics. This has some positives and negatives, but since this is uncharted territory, nobody’s quite sure how it’ll play out.
On one hand, Electrek wrote that the PR team has, in the past, helped correct misinformation or verified details of reports. On the other hand, by not engaging with the press, Tesla could help encourage the spread of false information online.
That said, not everything PR-related is gone, according to Electrek. The company is still helping organize test-drives for YouTubers, and of course, Musk is still active on Twitter, and sometimes he’ll answer a Tesla-related question himself.
So for now, this business decision mainly affects reporters and the press, who won’t have a PR team to talk to whenever they have questions to ask about the company.