Tesla doesn’t spend money on ‘manipulating’ public opinion: Elon Musk

Tesla doesn’t spend money on ‘manipulating’ public opinion: Elon Musk

American billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has rejected the idea of reinstating a public or press relations (PR) department at Tesla Motors, saying he doesn’t believe in “manipulating” public opinion. For the last many years, Tesla has been receiving more press coverage than any other automobile company but it lacks a considerable PR department. Even smaller automakers maintain PR departments. There are only a handful of PR people at Tesla Motors to handle hundreds of inquiries from reporters and journalists. It made sense a decade ago, when Tesla was a startup. But, now the EV maker has grown into a major automobile manufacturer as well as the world’s most valuable car maker.

Usually, a growing company allows its PR department to grow to handle growing inquiries from reporters and journalists. But, Tesla did exactly the opposite. It stopped answering press inquiries in 2020. Later, CEO Musk dissolved the automaker’s whole press department.

When Musk was asked for a comment on Tesla’s need to reinstate a PR department for handling press inquiries, he said that he didn’t believe that Tesla would have a new PR department any time soon as the role of such a department is no more than manipulating public opinion.

Urging Musk to hire a PR team, a Tesla fan said the EV giant should reconsider its decision as the stakes are now higher with full self-driving (FSD) coming, and the company’s expansion in Chinese and European markets.

Responding to the suggestion, Elon Musk said, “Other companies spend money on advertising & manipulating public opinion, Tesla focuses on the product. I trust the people.”

When Tesla had dissolved its PR department last year, many people were of the view that the EV giant took that decision because it had already got plenty of press coverage. But now, with the expansion of the company’s business and launch of new products, many feel the need for a strong PR department at Tesla.

Moreover, many believe that Musk is not entirely right in stating that a PR department’s main function is just to manipulate public opinion. They argue that a PR department’s main function, instead, is to communicate with the press. Whether or not a PR department tries to manipulate public opinion would be the result of the actions of individuals within the PR team or the culture of the company.