Published on May 27, 2018 |
by Zachary Shahan
27. May 2018 by Zachary Shahan
I have just published a long article about why I believe that Tesla boss Elon Musk was so wrong in his reactionary, broad case -Brushed reaction to certain coverage in the Media. But as a great reminder of what has raised his blood pressure for months or years, reporting NYTimes regrouped the narratives that elon overstepped without putting them in a proper context . Ugh.
Do you have to respond so badly to criticism if we have to persuade Sir Elon to stay away from generic media strikes?
(And, yes, I'm talking about the journalistic coverage, not the terrible, horrible, idiotic, misinformed NYTimes that comes from an often thoughtful, intelligent, but somehow science-denying person I associate in some Wonderful things, but absolutely despicable when it comes to understanding cleantech I will not even associate myself with this remark, it's so bad and I will not take it apart because 1) it's too idiotic and 2) it is not journalism – the topic of the day.
The NYTimes coverage of the controversy by Matt Stevens was okay in a simplified "that's what happened and here are the tweets" way. And there's even a bit of useful insight and fun humor being tricked into it. But obviously a whole verse – or a few verses – is missing to explain the whole story to the readers.
Again, this is a problem of Tesla PR, imho. Blaming the blame on the media also distorts the story. The mass media have poorly understood Tesla's technical and financial position, but Tesla has said it poorly.
Exactly in the second paragraph of the article we have this gem: "The many problems that have plagued his businesses." The frame is already set and it is set incorrectly. It tells the reader that Tesla has a lot of problems. Hmm, not so much, but a problem is definitely a PR issue, and part of it is just false expectations that are fueled by communication errors.
The third paragraph is just a brief overview of these suspected issues with links (which I remove) to NYTimes reporting on these topics.
. 1 "Delays in Model 3 Production"
As our own Maarten Vinkhuyzen explained, the Tesla Model 3 production ramp was outstanding, but it was also a public relations disaster. Yes, it could have been better if everything had gone smoothly, but nobody should have expected everything to go smoothly … unless that was the inherent message in production forecasting and communication with the company.
The "delays" are due to an overly ambitious, accelerated schedule that aims to deliver cars to 450,000 Tesla Model 3 reservation holders as soon as possible. The biggest "problem" here is that there are 450,000 people eagerly waiting for a brand new product built on brand new production lines and the industry "where no automaker has gone before." sly subtitles "450,000 Problems" by EVANNEX.)
The NYTime article merely framed it as a negative "delay in the production of Model 3" rather than adding useful context to the original Tesla production timeline insane 450,000 reservations, the accelerated effort in mass production or the wrong terminology for the different stages of the production ramp (the latter is really Tesla's fault).
. 2 "A fatal accident that occurred when the model X autopilot system was turned on"
Again, it is simply referred to as Tesla's problem, as if it were an existential problem for the company. It is not clear that this is really "just" a PR problem for Tesla (and a terrible family tragedy). This implied that Tesla's problem is a serious technical problem and not a communication challenge.
Later in this article, which comes back to this topic, the article states, "In a tweet that would announce his upcoming complaints, Mr. Musk said," It's super messed up that a Tesla accident happened leading to a broken ankle, headlines is and the ~ 40,000 people who died in US auto accidents last year alone, get almost no cover. "
So the article gave some votes to Elons criticism that reporting on the crash Tesla does not put things into perspective and Tesla crashes are overly represented in the media compared to their relative frequency, but the reporter has not acknowledged that this is indeed ridiculous and that Tesla gets an abnormal amount of coverage – in terms of positive news or things like crashes, but I have to say that I think Tesla could have done a lot better to prepare for such incidents and the To lead media to more sensible reporting before they happen. (That is, the spice of "Tesla Autopilot Crash" may have overridden the better nature of outlets, and that is an inherent media problem that is difficult to solve.)
3. "Questions about Tesla's ability to pay off its debts in the midst of continuing quarterly losses"
Oh, really? Tesla [TSLA] currently has a market capitalization of $ 46.23 billion. That's more than Ford's $ 45.05 billion. Tesla would not have so much market capitalization and so much institutional investment if it were to raise serious questions about Tesla's ability to pay off its debts.
The hype about "Tesla Bankwupty" may be the most annoying point for me – and maybe Elon – because it skips the obvious point that the only reason why Tesla has not made quarterly profits is because he has all of his own Revenue + some extra money invested in accelerated, aggressive, important growth. How can reporters and editors in reputable media such as NYTimes continue to ignore this obvious point?
That is, I think they continue to ignore and spill stories about "cash burn" because Tesla did it. I did it really bad to explain it to them. Maybe it's because it seems so obvious. Perhaps because it has been at the heart of Tesla's long-term plans for more than a decade. Anyway, I think Elon and Tesla have not done enough to shape the discussion and direct the media so they can better understand and communicate better.
So, as I wrote in my previous article While these are indeed big media design and reporting issues, I think a lot of the blame also goes directly to Tesla communication and PR.
In a section below, NYTimes briefly reports on a few lines about "bony issues" from the recent Tesla financial report and then concludes this section with "Tesla's stock price fell the next Day at 5.6 percent. "
The reporter did not explain why they were considered "fools" questions "that would have added a great context that would have better explained the parent story to readers." He also did not mention Elon's warning that a massive TSLA Tesla is in trouble, stands.
Tesla has explained this only incidentally, often short It is a bit difficult to expect a reporter who does not obsessively Tesla follows
"Tesla Goes Bankrupt"
The "Bankwut" stuff is perhaps the most intriguing to me The report NYTimes mentions Elon's April Fool's joke. April, when Tesla had to endure a barrage of negative news, Mr. Musk sent an April Fool joke, "it began – again, clinging to a framework of negativity and corporate issues 59013] "Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a recent mass sale of Easter eggs, we are saddened to report that Tesla has gone completely and completely bankrupt," Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter. "So bankrupt, you can not believe it."
NYTimes correctly reported it as a joke. It was a funny joke for those of us who were deep in knowledge. It was the kind of informal, funny trolling that made Elon a sensation and made Tesla so popular. But there is no additional information to explain to anyone else why the hype of the Tesla bankruptcy is a joke. The stock price fell after this joke (probably due in large part to automatic / robotic trading). Instead of solving the misunderstandings, it was fed to some people.
Part of the message seemed to be, "Hey, we're not really interested in the wrong stories about our finances, we're having fun and we will not go bankrupt in the foreseeable future." But then Elon was annoyed with the financial talk when he did was pressing on related topics, and he was irritated enough by the media coverage that this latest tweet tsunami came about attacks on the media. So it seems he does not care.
If he cares about the narrative, it is not the right way to scold the media and various individuals in the media (they, not their work). Tesla should better keep the narrative, if it does not want this type of reporting, reports that an April Fool joke notes bankruptcy, but then does not go beyond it, because the reported one probably does not feel comfortable being a financial analyst and does not have enough guidance from Tesla to write more.
The factory security story is a story that I've always found difficult. We do not really know how justified certain complaints about safety at work are. The reports we have seen in various investigative media now appear convincing. Some points seem to be damned. On the other hand, Tesla's answers argue dishonesty, misinformation and dope campaigns are behind everything. Elon has cited certain positive safety figures – the safety of Tesla compared to the wider auto industry, accidents at the factory in Fremont compared to GM & Toyota
I honestly would like more information – quantitative and qualitative data. But even without that, Tesla could have done much more to stay one step ahead of history. It has some cool videos and photos of its factories, but it could have been much more in the way of worker interviews for the public (also through Tesla's YouTube channel), behind the scenes Show & Tells, press releases about Tesla's excellent employee satisfaction rankings and support for the CEO – who exist
The reporter has narrowed the story down, but who helped him see the big picture?
Will there be more media coverage like this NYTimes one that briefly echoes the same negative tales about Tesla that have been baffling Elon Musk for months or years? Will there be more media reports missing Tesla's highly attractive financial position? Will there be more media reports digging up historical Tesla production schedules and vehicle demand forecasts and reminding readers that Tesla's production growth and actual consumer demand are better than almost anyone who was thought possible a few years ago? Will there be other reports on Tesla's job security that dismisses Tesla's statements on the subject as a biased spin and reactionary PR damage control?
After Elon spent a few hours on Twitter attacking various journalists and the media as a whole, no, I'm sure all media coverage will be glowing! / s