The role of PR (Public Relations) in promoting a film

While most are well aware of the importance of marketing while promoting a film, not many are aware of the importance of PR – Public Relations.

PR and Marketing go hand in hand – When a promotional event for a film is planned, the role of PR is maximising the reach and coverage of the event across various platforms. A great PR agency ensures that the event gains maximum eyeballs and is covered across news channels.

For example – If a trailer launch of any forthcoming film is planned – the role of PR is to inform the various journalists about the event, ensure and track the coverage of the event. If a certain film plans to promote itself in various cities like many films plan their city promotions in various cities – then the role of PR is to tap the local media in those cities and ensure the event gets covered in the local press in that city (e.g Rajasthan Patrika is the leading newspaper when you visit Rajasthan).

Unlike marketing, PR of a film begins the moment a film is announced. If a film is announced and is all set to go on floors for shoot, the role of a PR company is to get exclusive news and stills from the shoot and constantly be in news till the trailer and songs from the film are out. That’s why a PR job is actually a lot longer and more challenging job than marketing.

There are various PR companies that have worked on some of the best films recently. We have mentioned a few companies along with the films that they have handled in recent times – in no particular order

  • Mandvi Sharma (Chennai Express, Happy New Year)
  • Spice PR (Ghajini, Taare Zameen Par, Welcome, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
  • Raindrop Media (Aashiqui2, Hasee Toh Phasee , Tevar)

Now that you know the difference between PR and marketing, tell us the best job that a PR company has done to keep the movie in news – right from the announcement to its theatrical release.



  • It has to be for SRK films—No offence to his fans but his films are marketed brilliantly and the PR does a great job.
    I don’t think anyone is unaware when a SRK film is releasing…
    Be it HNY,CE or RaOne

  • I think most films these days have a good PR team. Action Jackson was always in news right from the beginning, all Shahrukh Khan films are not only well marketed but the PR also does a great job.

    For example Ra One they went overboard with everything and I think thats what helped the film recover costs..

    Another example of terrific marketing and PR is Ghajini… I think Aamir took film marketing to a different level entirely, he not only used the media, but he used SRK’s RNBDJ too.. Super idea, because he could reach out to everyone who watched SRK film.

    Strictly speaking about PR… hard to pick just one film as most seem to have a good PR teams with plenty of experience of working on other films.

    From your list, it has to be Mandvi Sharma.

  • The opposite goes for an Akki and PR is’nt of the best levels and the buzz around the upcoming film does’nt develops..
    Hence the opening is on a lower side in recent years..

    Also not only PR,but the how well your music and trailer is received determines how good your film is going to open..
    But still even with average trailer and music SRK managed HNY to open with staggering no. of 45crs..!! Kudos to him and PR..

  • Dont think it makes much of a difference if the film itself isnt appealing. Been many small films that were marketed well or used good PR skills but still flopped.

  • I think PR is also about making sure that the audience get what the film is all about. Picking the right pictures to release, creating news articles that interests its target audience.. creating positivity about a film..

  • if the same money that these producers waste on pr and marketing is used on hiring a good director.. the hit flop ratio of bollywood would be much better.

    excess promotion and pr is waste of time and money.

    we just want to watch a good film.. not keep hearing if the actors were dating or where it has been shot…

  • best pr in last 2yrs
    1 d3-leakage of angry aamir riding bikes in Chicago,dhoom day posters,not going to reality shows,only releasing song teasers,completely cashing on dhoom brand meets brand aamir factor basically d3 is best example of optimum pr

    2 hny-releasing d poster on new yr.regular tweets about movie making moments by d star cast,wats app,dish tv release of trailer,tying up promo wid dozens of brand advertisements

    3 yjhd-completely enchasing on ex lover rk-dp return on screen,releasing songs 2 months bfr release,aggressive pr

    4 ce-widely informing everyone about srk doing rohit shetty film even bfr shooting,doing aggressive pr 2 months bfr release going silent mid way and then returning to aggressive promotions wid lungi dance

    5 2 states-informing everyone about chetans most famous novel to b adapted as a movie long bfr shooting,informing everyone that srk was going to d this film and it was to b directed by vishal bharadwaj,aalia-arjun secret luv rumour,promoting d film as if kjo is directing it

    6 ek villain-widely informing everyone that funny man ritesh will b playing a villain,gd boy image sid playing a villain,releasing teaser 4 mnths bfr d film and songs 2 months bfr d film,last min aggressive promotions

    there r few more films like kick,k3,bb,ram leela that I want to add to d list but eventually all these pr,marketing only plays a role in opening weekend collections.they cn make a film maximum abv avg at d bo.but to get hit,superhit,bb status u need minimum decent wom

    thank u

  • The PR of ranbir kapur is the best. Link-up rumours,affair stories are cooked up by his pr team. N the media channels also starts giving boring gossip stories which r unbearable.
    All the media coverage is given to his co-actresses which he is linked with his affairs which in turn generates cheap publicity for his films.
    Emraan hashmi has no PR . His films r content based. If his content is gud, they become hit.

  • best example of pr is raja was promoted as return of darling of masses emmy into his bad boy kind of roles,hd typical massy music,emmy style romantic number,dozens of kisses,emmy even sold tickets of kick yet d film became a disaster.but don’t worry ungli will break all bo records

  • Reason is emmi leads a clean life. He is the best husband,father among actors like srk.
    Ranbir has maligned personal life. He is always caught carrying more money at airports. Always involved in spat with media at airports.
    N hence more news , more publicity, more PR.

  • completely agree wid u bro @emraan kkc-emmys film run on merit.thats d reason y his last 5 films hv been atbb

  • @ungli emraan yaa.. Raaz3 was a superhit among last 5 movies. Good analysis.
    Btw kick tickets was just a joke . It was not real, but a con trick.

  • Everyone has his own style of promotions. Srk focuses more on PR and goes all out promoting his films for almost 2 months. Salman is conventional and relies on his fan base. Aamir is about marketing.

    2 biggies I admire in marketing are Srk and Aamir. Call it over the board or overdone but the aggressive marketing for Ra one had created a never seen before euphoria. Though the movie was a disappointment, it was still a clean hit thanks to the fantastic PR.

    Aamir is more about the ‘shock factor’ Practically shocks you with his moves. For Ghajini he did haircuts, for 3 idiots, the extra ordinary promotional campaign but the real gem was Delhi Belly. He literally promoted the movie by launching the beeped up cuss word promos featuring him and Imran. It made a huge buzz on the social media and was a talking point for nearly a month. The nude poster of Pk was again a masterstroke of PR and marketing. The jokes on his poster gave him free of cost publicity.

    The most important thing according to me is “Dont let the buzz die.” Problem with Akki is, he doesnt promote his movies as well as the Khans. So he has to rely purely on the word-of-mouth.

    Hrithik did try the Bang-Bang-dare idea, which created a decent buzz. What went wrong was the response. Aamir’s response was lame, Salman didn’t even respond him, Srk’s response was more focused on his own film rather than Hrithik’s. Nobody really cares what Ranveer, Nargis or others do. In fact, Ranveer was ridiculed for his act on social media. If even one big star had given him a deserving response things would have changed! The last minute launch of trailer was again a massive marketing disaster.

    I think PR and marketing can be experimented if you have faith on your movie. If yours is a standard masala film, the ALL OUT promotion way is the best thing to do!

  • HNY is the best example in recent times .. this year we have seen some really good movies where even content driven movies have been a success.
    Top 10 movies this year acc. to me this year purely on the basis of entertaiment & watchability factor.
    1. Hasee Toh Phasee
    2. Holiday
    3. Ek Villain
    4. 2 States
    5. Kick
    6. Happy New Year
    7. Haider
    8. Pizza 3D
    9. Highway
    10. Main Tera Hero.
    this is just a personal opinion .. I just did not like movies like Queen, Jai Ho, Humpty Sharma etc. etc.

  • Best Job Ka Toh Pata Nahin, but the worst have been done by Mandvi Sharma! Talking in terms of morality, not the success!! She has even manipulated the image of an SRK’s contemporary to give footage to someone’s 14-packs abs!
    SRK has the most successful PR machinery, And Aamir has the best one, Salman has so-so one but Akki has none! He releases four films a year!! So, PR agencies can’t a good interval periods to do their jobs!

  • SRK and Amir – if it comes to promotions and PR. These two superstars have pushed promotions and PR to a new level altogether and now others are following them.
    While SRK puts his while effort and promotes his movies vigorously on every nook and corner, Amir is little choosy. He calculates each and every step and plans accordingly.
    According to me, the most brilliant promotional strategy of recent times was, Amir changing his get up and visiting all the places- from Jammu to Tamilnadu- changing his costume with every visit.
    That was a nice strategy and it helped him a lot to reach out maximum people in a completely unique way.

  • emmy bhai is such a saint that once when his frndz hd taken him to bar he spent d entire night drinking lemon juice and watching saree clad women doing Bharathanatiyam.

  • One reason why Rohit Shetty is big, comes from the way he markets his movies.

    I remember seeing Ajay and Rohit on almost all daily soaps, reality shows, news channels during Bol Bachchan. The ‘wrong English’ of Ajay was promoted for almost 3 weeks which became the selling point of the movie.

    Another gem of an example is “Yaariyan”. That movie had no big stars, unknown director and had was universally panned by critics. But the PR and marketing team was wise enough to promote the movie only through songs which made huge buzz and the city audience went all out to check out the movie. Since it was made on a very tight budget, this PR exercise was enough to ensure that the movie gained “HIT STATUS”

    I think a well cut promo or trailer can also create a great buzz. Vicky Donor had done that to a large extent where the curiosity was really high. Strong content can ensure longer stay but euphoria really helps you get the initial numbers. In fact Ayushmann’s other two movies didnt get that kind of an opening. Even though he had a big banner behind him, the promotion was very poor which is why his last movie sank without a trace.

  • 1.srk is d best in pr activities…release poster before 7m -8m from release date,selling merchandise,contest,trailer launch on every platform,game,dialogue promos,indicine, etc…still cudnt able to cross kick…
    2.salman- his name is enough for 100cr club…
    3. Aamir- very unpredictable… He can do anything..

  • Best example of Marketing was Ghajini…

    Best example of good or bad PR depending on your stance was Ra One…!

    These films were in the news here in the UK all the time during 2008 n 2011 respectively so I can only imagine how wide their reach was in India…!

  • @zeeshan sad to know that u didn’t like queen and hskd.but then that’s ur opinion and I respect it.btw thank u for hving htp,villain,2 states in ur top4 and sorry for upsetting u that day wen I hd used a slang against indicine.actually on that day I was really upset as my I was getting bashed fr things that I hvnt written.
    btw u r dfntly among d top 4 best users of indicine.keep up ur gd work

  • The standard tactics which a PR team uses to keep the film in news. Particularly for non-A rated actors:

    Create a buzz by floating theories of romantic affair between the lead pair. Try creating some controversies; like a shocking statement by your lead actor on a sensitive subject followed by protests of political opportunists.

    There’s been some serious conflict between the director and the actor (This idea is used by almost all the leading stars) Leak some stills from the sets which will increase curiosity.

    One of the recent examples is the Byomkesh Bakshi PR where the female lead was accused of theft in a mall. It was a smart marketing movie which created fair amount of controversy for a medium budget film. It was done right before the launch of teaser which again helped in creating some buzz!

  • @gj007 this is a beautiful reply to ur sweet cmnt-‘I m sure a superstar blockbuster will make up for d losses incurred by recent yrf flops starring ‘youngistaan’!!!!

    hats off to u for only remembering d flops given by youngistaan to yrf bcz v hv also given yrf loved hits like gunday,suddh desi romance,band baja baraat and ishaqzaade -_-

    I wanted to bash u but since u r an aamir fan and I respect that evergreen legend I m being polite to u.but I promise if u again write anything rubbish about youngistaan then I will start bashing u like I always bash stupid navin

  • @Arjun Kapoor

    Your comment makes no sense. The success rate of YRF is quite low with new actors. I had mentioned that Gunday was a surprise success while all these movies which you mentioned had a “good story”

    Go and read my comment again. I had mentioned how YRF needs to make content oriented films, and just for your info, I have high regards for Sushant Singh Rajput. I consider him as the next Aamir Khan.

    That “youngistan” was mentioned only because of your excessive love for that word. Bash me if you want, I always speak reality!

  • SRK depends on Accessibility . This gives the impression that he is the closest to people

    aamir is working on the contrary, Depends on the mystery and leaking a few interesting pieces. Full
    confidence in the content .

    Salman is working in a particular genre with good trailer everyone expects a sweeping Entertainment .

    Each of these methods work and define their public image.
    Shahrukh one of the family members
    Salman friend who takes care of you
    Aamir a mysterious interesting person

  • The best PR work in recent times is Srk uncountable foreign awards whereas he gets none from National award jury. In India he doesnt have any worthy award except 15 Black ladies (Filmfake) !!!!!!! So this is my take on PR.

  • If talk about PR its always been srk films, its not about recent, he always had best PR team with him last 10-12 years.though he hemsrlf started to market his films all over since Ra1.
    Srk is used the formula of excessive promotion and he made sure his films will reach to every possible person.He is very good in marketing well.
    Aamir more over don’t rely on PR more than himself.if its comes to marketing “hatke” than he is there.Ghajini and Delhi Belly was best example.With ghajini he created huge buzz with his looks and 8 pack abs.With Delhi belly he promoted film excessively on TV and also been honest about the film content. 3idiots marketing was also superb.
    And with Dhoom 3 he along with yrf given less is more formula.I simply loved that tag line which they used to publish 5 day before release of the movie.”20th DEC not Sunday,not holiday.its dhoom day”.
    Pk fist poster is also great marketing example of his skills.
    Salman on other hand doing promotions for formality,he himself confessed many time that he hates these thing.His name is enough to bring audience nevertheless.
    Hrithik,ajay are good in these thing but only when if their films vibes are good.Akki is not doing promotions at all(I mean healthy promotions).
    BTW @gj007 I heard the song “bhagwan kahan h tu” and must say it is best song from PK as well as any big commercial films of this year.I myself never been connected with my fav Sonu song like this since his classic “abhi mujh me kahin” of Agree path. Having director like Raju,actor like Aamir,I hope when this song comes in the movie,its create maximum impact.the whole PK album us worthy for me just because of thus brilliant song.

  • No amount of pr works if the content isnt good!,!
    Big budget movie can have big budget allocation for pr thats it…

    Content can only take the movie forward and nothing else

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