We’re not up for making sweeping generalizations on a Monday morning, but Tesla’s latest corporate announcement definitely raises some questions about the future of the press release.
Rather than go the traditional route, CEO Elon Musk took time off from his day job serving as Larry Page’s favorite charity organization to publish the release under his own name as a Medium post. It’s both a product launch and the latest step in an ongoing campaign to control the damage stemming from safety concerns with Tesla cars.
Don’t worry; Musk sticks to his famously aggressive messaging style and adds a few GIFs for emphasis.
Here’s his intro:
“In 2013, two extremely unusual Model S collisions…received more national headlines than the other 200,000 gasoline car fires that happened last year in North America alone.”
Musk goes on to extoll the safety features of his company’s products. Yet despite the fact that “…there have been no fire injuries (or serious, permanent injuries of any kind) in a Tesla at all”, he’s still adding some new ones because he’s generous like that. He also wants to reassure journalists and investors.
In addition to a recent software update, new Tesla autos will include “a triple underbody shield” — and owners of older models now have the option of retrofitting their own cars at no charge.
Of course, the company tested its new hardware, and Musk has the evidence in GIF form. After elaborating on specifics in far greater detail than that found in your average release, Musk presents moving images of the new shield protecting the car from various foreign objects.
The GIFs are unfortunately too large to embed in this post, but here’s a blurry preview:
The larger point: Musk offered more than enough info to satisfy the many tech geeks who follow Tesla while also highlighting the message about the safety of his products — and he didn’t need to pitch anyone to do it.
Could there be a better way to control the narrative?
At any rate, we expect to see more “releases” like this one in the future.