The company seems to be doing ok without a PR department.
Here's a little peek behind the curtain of how the automotive industry runs. When a news outlet needs information about a new car, they email an automaker's Public Relations department, who give official statements on behalf of the brand. Those PR contacts are also responsible for arranging press cars for review. Now, those reviews can turn out positive or negative, but in general, the exposure for the automaker is typically worth it either way.
Tesla works very differently. The American EV brand is perpetually difficult to reach to the point that it almost refuses to talk to the media. Think about it. Have you ever seen a Tesla commercial or advertisement? Tesla is so disenfranchised with the press, it has actually disbanded its entire PR department, according to a report from Electrek.
The EV blog confirms that it received an email from high up in Tesla, claiming, "We no longer have a PR Team." They even mention several former Tesla PR team members by name we have had occasional dealings with in the past, confirming that all have either left Tesla or moved into other positions. So what exactly does this mean for Tesla, and the coverage you may see of the company?
Tesla's PR department has been a revolving door of new people, so it's always been tough to track down an official statement from the company. As you may notice, Tesla gets plenty of coverage in the media from its near-continual new product and update announcements, and content from owners, so it doesn't need to rely as heavily on a PR department to put out press releases.
Tesla is moving forward with an organic PR strategy, relying on owners and brand enthusiasts to convey its message. This means Tesla won't be able to control the messaging directly, but it also saves on the cost of employing a PR department. If you ever wondered why all of our Tesla articles always have the same stock photos in them, it's because Tesla's lack of communication meant there were never any alternate pictures to use.
The absence of a PR department also means that you probably won't see a Test Drive Review of a Tesla vehicle anytime soon, unless we book one on Turo to drive. So when the company reveals a new product, like the production Tesla Cybertruck, the responsibility of reviewing it will likely fall to owners and influencers.