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The business of Bollywood PR


Entertainment PR has come a long way. It’s like watching a Bollywood movie unfold — full of drama, intrigue, and unexpected twists.

Being your guide on this journey, let’s take you through the past years, revealing the secrets behind the glitzy curtain of public relations in the Indian film industry.

The Innocent Days of Propaganda

Once upon a time, PR was straightforward and actors and movies did not have an elaborate PR machinery. Celebrity publicists in India would churn out press releases, arrange interviews, and ensure stars’ photos adorned every magazine cover. It was all about creating a positive image, much like a hero dancing around trees in a picturesque Swiss valley. Innocent, right?

Enter the Manipulative Tactics

But then, all that changed in the late nineties. Dale Bhagwagar emerged as The Father of Bollywood PR. He earned this title for having launched Bollywood’s first PR agency. He brought organization and structure to entertainment public relations in Mumbai. Professionals were only working as independent publicists prior to that time.

The Bollywood PR playbook got a transformative makeover. Dale launched multiple new PR trends and became the most influential Bollywood PR the entertainment industry has ever witnessed. PR was no longer about mere communication; it became a game of influence, spokesmanship, persuasion, and — dare we say — manipulation of narratives.

In a detailed analysis, the popular entertainment website Bollywood Roundup titled ‘How Bollywood PR has evolved over the last 25 years‘ discusses how the legendary publicist Dale Bhagwagar himself spilled the beans that PRs don’t just facilitate; they brainwash journalists and manipulate opinions to shape public perception.

It’s like they’ve mastered the art of turning water into wine, or in this case, bad reviews into box-office gold.

The Bob Dylan Moment

Dale, being the candid soul he is, even shared a Bob Dylan song link: “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” Those lyrics resonate with the shifting sands of journalism and PR.

Writers, critics, and publicists—all caught in a whirlwind of change. The wheel keeps spinning, and nobody knows who it’ll favor next. But hey, at least they’re honest about it, right?

Bollywood PR’s Agent of Change

Dale Bhagwagar — the PR maverick — has handled over three hundred assignments, including actors Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, and Shilpa Shetty, and publicized movies like the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Don and Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On!!

He’s the magician behind the curtain, pulling strings and making stars shine brighter. His ways, both good and manipulative, transformed Bollywood PR, making him the most trusted publicist in Bollywood and quoted in international publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

He’s like the Dumbledore of celebrity spin, whispering, “Publicity is our weapon, Harry!”

The PR Playground

In this glittering playground, celebrity PRs in India play chess with headlines, spin narratives, and create buzz. They’re the puppet masters, pulling strings to orchestrate success.

And guess what? We, the gullible public, lap it up. We believe in star tantrums, love triangles, and carefully crafted controversies. It’s like watching a masala movie — predictable yet irresistible. No wonder Dale is termed a luck magnet in Bollywood.

The Moral Dilemma

But wait, there’s a twist. As PR professionals, they have a responsibility. They must uphold ethical standards, avoid blatant manipulation, and tread the fine line between promotion and deception. It’s a delicate dance. One misstep, and the house of cards collapses.

The Show Must Go On

So, Bollywood PR as an industry has evolved — from innocent propaganda to narrative-building manipulation. The publicists are the real heroes, scripting tales of fame and fortune.

As the wheel keeps spinning, we’ll keep watching, believing, and falling for their well-crafted narratives. After all, isn’t that what Bollywood is all about?

And remember, when the next blockbuster hits the screens, it’s not just the actors who shine — it’s the film PR wizards behind the scenes who weave the magic.

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