Uncovering the control of PR machinery in Bollywood

Exclusive in-depth analysis and exposé

Behind every Bollywood celebrity’s perfectly crafted public image lies an elaborate machinery running the show — their PR team. This hidden hand orchestrates media coverage, narrative building, reputation management and publicity stunts that propel stars into the limelight.

The masters behind celebrity branding in India

But who exactly is operating this mysterious PR network that seems to have an iron grip on Bollywood celebrities and storytelling? It’s a nexus of top Bollywood PR agencies, powerful publicists, pushy media managers and influential media head honchos.

At the top of the pyramid sit some of the best Bollywood PR agencies in India, who deliver image building services to up-and-coming stars. The Branding Bollywood website has published many such lists of PR agencies in Mumbai, as well as all the entertainment News Websites in India. These which give an insider glimpse into the PR narrative-building scenario. Top entertainment PR firms like Spice PR, Raindrop Media, Universal Communications, Hype PR, Parull Gossain Publicists Inc. and Dale Bhagwagar Media Group use aggressive media management tactics to elevate their celebrity clients.

How the Bollywood PR machine churns

Bollywood publicists deal with entertainment journalists in News Agencies, Bollywood Trade websites, and the top best Bollywood News websites in India, to maximize coverage and control negative publicity. The same is the case with best Music PR agencies in India. It’s a symbiotic relationship — PR agencies provide non-stop access and exclusives to their star-clients while journalists rely on the same agencies for meaty gossip.

The deals are often inked by savvy media managers who also aggressively pitch their newbie actors, dangling manufactured PR hype and stardom as bait. They envision meteoric rise PR strategies and leverage their connections in the media which multiply with made-to-order media buzz.

Money and influence power the PR engine

What’s powering this well-oiled Bollywood PR machine? Money and influence peddling, of course. PR budgets for top stars can run into lakhs, dedicated just to keep them on everyone’s radar 24/7. Even seven figure deals are struck between the most trusted PRs and celebs for digital news presence. Some stars with extra bucks even pay to have leading paparazzi and entertainment reporters on their side just to stay visible.

It’s a vicious cycle where money flows freely between PR agencies, media houses and stars themselves to manufacture desirable personalities that sell. And we, the audiences, lap it all up without questioning the reality behind the hype machines. Our willing suspension of disbelief keeps this celebrity culture thriving.

Thriving even in crisis

So, when we watch spellbound as star kids become overnight sensations or link-up rumours ignite the internet, we must wonder – who’s pulling the strings of this puppet show? Unless we uncover the invisible hands running Bollywood’s cutthroat PR and media machinery, our perceptions will continue to be engineered by powerful forces seeking profits and influence. Authenticity and talent will lose out to showbiz puppeteers.

In an article about how Bollywood PR has evolved over the last 25 years, famous Bollywood publicist Dale Bhagwagar who runs the entertainment PR agency Dale Bhagwagar Media Group, has been quoted as Tweeting this: “Role of PRs is not only to facilitate. It’s to convince, brainwash, manipulate journalists to agree; and influence public opinion using them, the same way scribes use PRs to source stories.”

Bollywood PR machinery hypes celebrity culture

During the pandemic, financial website Business Upturn had even run a shocking article titled ‘The New Abnormal: Bollywood PR legend Dale Bhagwagar getting richer after Corona crisis‘; exposing the PR tactics of the publicist. It narrated how the top Bollywood public relations consultant known for his controlling tactics with media, surprisingly acquired 5 new high-profile clients within just 6 weeks of the coronavirus lockdown by profiteering from film industry folks spending on PR to stay visible and survive the economic slump.

The story shocked people, but indicates that entertainment PR could even thrive in crisis situations as actors invest to not get outdated.

So, you see, the curtain has been pulled back on the Wizard of Oz-like public relations machine powering Bollywood and manufacturing celebrity culture.

It’s a strong and influential network of showbiz PR agencies, media managers, and media trading money and influence to aggressively promote stars, dictate narratives and engineer perceptions. This relentless self-serving system pumps up celebrities through manufactured PR hype and narratives centered on profits.

Until the reality behind this illusion is questioned, the audience will continue to lap up the puppet show, fuelling an industry where real talent loses out to better PR and deeper pockets.

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