Bollywood’s PR specialist Dale Bhagwagar has worked with a number of renowned clients like Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi, Randeep Hooda, Esha Deol, Shiney Ahuja and makers like Tips Industries, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, Sanjay Gupta, N Chandra, Akbar Khan and Ashok Amritraj. In a tete-a-tete, the PR guru reveals how our actors and filmmakers can tide over the looming worldwide financial crisis with the help of enhanced PR.
Dale Bhagwagar in an interview with Zoom television
Can good PR help in these difficult economic times of downturn?
When trading is difficult, advertising and marketing budgets are the first to be slashed. PR is the cheaper option to advertising. Moreover, getting attention is getting money. Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai. The clever ones could enhance visibility to tide over the recession.
So what kind of PR could our actors and makers do that would add to their image and brand?
The number one objective for a celebrity publicist is to plan and smartly position you as a stronger brand than before. Be it a big actor or small, be it a personal PR exercise or product branding. The right kind of media coverage is going to help. This, in turn, will be helpful in securing return on investment, which is invaluable.
But advertising achieves the same too.
Yes, but consumers have always relied and believed more in the written word, like articles and snippets, than on advertising. Also, advertising campaigns cost a lot more than PR campaigns. Smart PR is the cost-effective way to get your message across to the relevant audience. And everyone needs to manage their reputation in front of their target audience.
Do you think Bollywood will take such a PR route to get their message across?
Yes, I know of some prominent names that are already strategizing to ‘consolidate’ their position in the industry, while their competitors will be thinking of ‘survival’. Even the amount of calls I get for PR jobs have gone up in the last three weeks, which is also a good sign.
So you mean, it doesn’t make sense to wait for things to get better, or the market to improve?
If you ask me, I’d say, it never makes sense to wait for anything. As the honourable Mr Manmohan Singh has admitted, the economic downturn for India is going to be a slow one. It is like… jor ka jhatka, dheere se lage. So why wait when you have a way. It’s better to get going, pump up your PR and actively market yourself. For those who do, the field will be relatively open at such a crucial time. I would say, this is the time for some smart brand consolidation. We are living in a world where perception is reality. Once again, remember, jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai.