What Tesla’s move to eliminate its PR department means for the industry

The electric car company may have closed its press shop, but the communications function remains vital.

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Tesla kills its PR department

Tesla, the electric car company founded by billionaire Elon Musk that ranks 124th on the Fortune 500 list, has shut down its PR department. It apparently decided it no longer needs a good relationship with the media. Journalists seeking confirmation don’t even know who to ask.

The move was first reported yesterday by Electrek, a news website that tracks the transportation industry’s shift from fossil fuels to electric. The site wrote:

If you’re a reporter who isn’t getting a response from Tesla, don’t take it personally, because it’s due to the automaker having dissolved its PR team.

The move has been confirmed to Electrek at the highest level at Tesla with the source saying, “We no longer have a PR team.”

Observers were by turns stunned and circumspect. It was called everything from a “flex”—a showoff move—to a sign that Tesla’s PR department can’t compete with Elon Musk’s nearly 40 million Twitter followers, or that Musk himself can’t take any media criticism.

Elon Musk dissolves Tesla's U.S. PR team because they can't compete with his Twitter account which has 39 million followers.

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