Opinion

Elon Musk, the world’s best PR starman

Elon Musk has just launched a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-themed car into space. Here, Scott Rhodie waxes lyrical on the Tesla CEO's out-of-this-world PR abilities.

I believe most of us are waiting for Elon Musk to unveil his secret evil volcano lair, but until he does, I think we can all agree that he has the unbelievable knack of creating global headlines.

His latest little project sees a combination of his SpaceX program, his Tesla company and his geekiness coming to the fore.

People all over the world were talking about the fact that on 6th and 7th February 2018, SpaceX launched Musk’s own Tesla Roadster complete with a Starman mannequin into a heliocentric orbit.

There is a Tesla Roadster (with a MicroMachines Tesla Roadster on the dash complete with a micro Starman) in space right now. When you take a second to think about it, it’s completely crazy.

No other car company in the world has everyone staring at their car in the media and going “how cool is that”.

The only way any car company is going to get better PR for their car will be if they are the first to get their car to Mars and then do laps around the planet.

Musk is the founder, CEO and lead designer of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla, CEO of Neuralink, founder of the Boring Company and even more. In fact, I don’t know if he actually sleeps, or if he is the first AI in a human body because he seems to be everywhere.

He gets global coverage for nearly everything his companies do. Why? I believe it is because his company dares to do something different. He is constantly challenging the norm and he and his companies have lofty goals beyond profit.

He created a rocket company to explore other planets.

He created a battery company and built electric cars and solar roof tiles to showcase how good the batteries are.

He is sick of traffic, and built a tunnelling company to try and reduce the cost of tunnels so that roads can be built under cities – and to promote it he sold caps and flamethrowers.

He created a company designing implantable brain-computer interfaces but said in the short term will be focusing on treating serious brain diseases.

Musk makes us feel like people are still doing good in the world and that they want to change the world for the better. Too many companies seem to focus on profit before anything else and as such we don’t connect with them.

Musk gives us hope, and let’s be honest, in the crazy world that we live in at the moment that’s no bad thing. He is selling us the dreams of the future today and he is doing so by being the face of the companies he works for.

He is a PR master. The smiling CEO/ founder/ billionaire who is kinda nerdy and silly and always seems to come across as a guy you could have a beer and a chat with.

I have no doubt he has his failings as a human, as we all do, but while he pushes his lofty ideals and his world-changing technology, I firmly believe he will continue to feed the media and the world with stories.

And from a personal standpoint, I just love the fact that Musk gave a nod to all Douglas Adams fans with a “DON’T PANIC” screen on the car, and he has acknowledged that inside the glove box is a towel (because Starman is a hoopy frood) and a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I’ll definitely be having a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster in honour of this monumental PR stunt.

Scott Rhodie NBN

Scott Rhodie is a marketing manager and self confessed Elon Musk fan boy.

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