Tesla fans: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go to bat politically for the company.
The electric automaker has launched a new online portal called the Tesla Engagement Platform, as spotted by CNBC Friday. It is a hub where Tesla posts actions its users can take, like contacting government officials when there is a potential law that would affect the company.
“Engage Tesla is a new platform for both Tesla’s public policy team and Tesla Owner’s Clubs,” a blog post on the hub reads. “Its goal is to create a digital home base for all of our work, and make it easier for Tesla community members to learn what’s top of mind for us, take meaningful action, and stay in the loop. We hope you’ll join us in getting involved.”
Other tech companies, notably ride share companies including Uber, have asked their customers and employees to politically engage on laws that affect them. Tesla’s new hub is notable, however, because it recently dissolved its public relations team.
While there might not be a person officially in charge of talking to to the press and public (besides Elon Musk), the launch of the Engagement platform suggests that there’s at least someone tasked with crafting the company’s messaging — and mobilizing fans as Tesla’s private lobbying army.
Someone in addition to Musk himself, that is.
There is currently a post asking Nebraska residents to contact lawmakers about a law coming up for a vote that would enable Tesla to open showrooms and service stations in the state, where it’s currently prohibited.
The hub has other content, too. There are suggested charitable actions, posts about regional clubs, and Tesla cultural content. Some posts include the ability for users to comment, which they can do if they sign in to the site with their Tesla account.
Engage is replacing Tesla Forums, a site with discussion forums organized around Tesla products. The forums site currently says “Starting March 15th, Tesla Forums will become read only. To continue the conversation with the Tesla community visit engage.tesla.com.”
Tesla fans and owners are notoriously — what should we say — passionate. Thanks to that verve, mobilizing the base to advocate on the company’s behalf has the potential to be highly effective. Now all Tesla has to do is keep Elon Musk from getting in the government’s crosshairs with rogue tweets.