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The Business of Bollywood PR: Why Actors Must Invest in Online Branding


“When I’m doing a business transaction as a studio, I can’t pay you on hope. I have to invest on surety. If you start paying people based on their previous biggest hit ever, and then hope that the next film will be bigger than that, that’s not sound business,” said superstar Aamir Khan when discussing the economics of the Hindi film industry in Mumbai.

His statement rings true not just for studios betting on films, but for actors seeking to thrive in Bollywood. Actors must invest consistently in branding themselves online to grow and consolidate their market presence.

The quick growth of entertainment news websites and Bollywood portals provides a valuable avenue for actors to boost their visibility and control their narrative. Having a strong online footprint leads to better prominence on Google and social media, giving actors more credibility and reach. This, in turn, puts them in a better bargaining position to land plum film roles, endorsement deals, TV shows and media appearances.

As India’s most famous publicist Dale Bhagwagar, also known as Bollywood’s only PR guru, puts it, “When actors continuously brand themselves positively in the news media, it brings respect and gives them an edge when entertainment industry players are deciding on casting or partnerships.” The most sought-after stars in Mumbai know this and work closely with entertainment PR teams to further amplify their brand with the help of the Bollywood PR machinery.

Newcomers and lesser-known artists often make the mistake of prioritizing short-term fame over perception, image-building and branding. But momentary hype alone results only in short-term gains. What aspiring celebrities need to do is invest time and effort into reputation management right from early in their careers.

As the Aamir Khan quote indicates, you cannot expect profitable work to come based on previous box office success or talent alone. In the cutthroat 24/7 Bollywood entertainment circus, you need to devote yourself to branding activities constantly without letting gaps come in between. Be visible promoting your work through news articles, interviews, and seek opportunities to collaborate with brands where it aligns. In essence, control the media narrative about yourself, and build a strong Google presence in the bargain. That is the only surefire way to not just gain but also retain your market share in the long run.

Hope alone cannot guarantee success in show business. Actors need to take a cue from Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan’s words on intelligent investing. Work with Bollywood PR teams and leverage entertainment websites to build your personal equity and cement your standing if you want to earn what you deserve.

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