In 2020, Tesla became the first mass-market automaker to dissolve its press relations division. Now, prominent supporters of the automaker, specifically investors, are asking from Elon Musk to bring it back.
The renewed calls for Tesla to create a department to field media requests follows confusion last week relating to CEO Elon Musk’s tweets and cobbled-together reports about Tesla’s workforce. The result of the confusion was for Tesla’s stock to drop significantly.
Now Gary Black, the managing partner at The Future Fund and a prominent Tesla supporter, has taken to Twitter to voice his support for the return of an official press relations department, as first noticed by Automotive News.
“I’ve said this many times about TSLA’s refusal to invest in PR,” wrote Black. “You can’t complain you lost if you never showed up for the game.”
The tweets specifically relate to an email seen by Reuters stating that Musk had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and that Tesla should reduce its salaried workforce by 10 percent. Without a department to respond to media requests for information, reports ran rampant and the company’s share price fell drastically on Friday.
Although Musk later clarified on Twitter that the company’s salaried workforce was likely to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future and its hourly workforce was likely to increase in size but the reports had already impacted the company’s stock and made it look indecisive.
And this isn’t the first time that a news cycle that impacted share prices could have been solved by a PR department. In April, a fake press release purporting to be from a lithium mining company, Lithium Corp, sent that company’s stock prices rising then falling. Its PR department managed to correct the story but without a release from Tesla confusion was prolonged.
Ultimately, Tesla’s share price fell nearly 10 percent on Friday and investors may simply want a PR department to help quell volatility.