Beyond Bollywood: PR in Diverse Industries

The old novels and movies had the mix of glitz and glamour, (with guns and gals!) and a pot-pourrie of elements that dragged us to the movie halls as they did to the novels. The media also has its share of glamorizing some parts of a distant world. Bollywood and Hollywood do take a major share of the glamour news and you cannot compete with the Cannes and Met Gala walkway galleria but, is PR only this much and no more? Umashankar Sharma delves into the center of this to tell us that PR is much more than this….

Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone announce Pregnancy (and birth!); someone reportedly (Fake News) of Cervical Cancer; Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira khan reportedly set to marry her longtime boyfriend in 2024; Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant Pre-Wedding bash; Yes, these are the latest headlines in Bollywood that are making rounds. According to surveys and reports available, major news reports include war, government, politics, education, health, environment, economy, business, fashion, entertainment, and sport. In India, major portion of media coverage is dedicated to Entertainment Industry or to be precise, Bollywood news.

Bollywood movies, celebrity gossip, film releases, and industry updates attract a large audience and generate considerable interest among the Indian public. News related to actors, actresses, directors, film productions, and box office performances often dominates headlines and grabs attention across various media platforms, including newspapers, television channels, websites, and social media. Additionally, events like film festivals, award ceremonies, and controversies within the entertainment industry garner widespread coverage and captivate audiences nationwide.

Before delving into the multifaceted applications of PR across various sectors, it's essential to differentiate between propaganda, publicity, and public relations. There is significant difference between Propaganda, Publicity and Public relations. But there is a very thin line in practicing them. The key lies in the intent, methods and ethics behind it. Though propaganda, publicity, and public relations, are all forms of communication aimed at influencing public opinion, they differ in their objectives, methods, and ethical considerations. Propaganda manipulates opinions, (A thousand lies…) publicity is mainly to seek attention whereas PR concentrates on building relations. Bollywood PR can broadly be classified as a Propaganda or Publicity as it focuses on grabbing attention of people. Public Relations (PR) plays a pivotal role in shaping the image and reputation of organizations across various sectors in India, extending far beyond the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, in diverse industries such as technology, healthcare, education, politics and government, economy and finance, automobiles, real estate, Sports, Environment etc.

In today's digital era, the dynamics of news consumption have undergone a paradigm shift, with online platforms emerging as primary sources of information. From YouTube and social media to search engines and publisher websites, the digital and scape offers diverse channels for accessing news and engaging with audiences. We, as PR professionals, must leverage these platforms strategically to disseminate information, manage reputations, and engage stakeholders effectively. YouTube tops the chart as a mode to access online news with 93%interest, followed by social media 88%, chat apps 82%, search engines with 61%,publisher news apps or websites 45%, audio news 39%, OTT or connected TV 21%,etc. Navigating these evolving communication channels presents a unique set of challenges. Social media demands a distinct strategy, electronic media calls for a tailored approach, and websites signal a shift in consumer attention spans. Effectively engaging with audiences across these platforms requires adaptability and precision in messaging.

As PR aims to shape an organization's image in the public eye, staying adaptable is crucial. Just as external factors like employee expectations and technology continuously change, so too must PR strategies and processes. By embracing this ongoing evolution, PR professionals can ensure their efforts remain relevant and impactful across any sector they choose.

To conclude, while Bollywood undeniably commands a significant share of media attention, the realm of PR extends far beyond the silver screen. So does sports like IPL, but that is a topic for another day. Across diverse industries and sectors, PR professionals play a vital role in shaping narratives, fostering relationships, and enhancing reputations. As India's socio-economic landscape continues to evolve, the role of PR in navigating this complex terrain becomes increasingly indispensable.

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