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Anand Pandey, Celebrity, Film Publicist and Media Executive

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My hobbies namely writing, travelling and short film making, have all contributed to my career as a film publicist. I work for 'Hardly Anonymous Communications'. The company handles Public Relations of celebrities which include the overall publicity in print, online and electronic media. I look after celebrity clients like Irrfan Khan, Kabir Bedi, Richa Chadda, Ali Fazal, Vir Das, Taapsee Pannu, Karan Singh Groover, Kartik Aaryan, Monica Dogra, and Lisa Ray.

I wanted to pursue journalism and did my BMM from Guru Nanak College. Later I got to know about Public Relations (PR) and got very interested in it. I wanted to explore this field and therefore I switched from entertainment journalism to entertainment PR. It is all about building perceptions.

My graduation in BMM journalism educated me about the basics in the media field. With a few stints in various newspapers, my job in PR today is a cake walk and I find it easy to work and deliver results. Training days are always a bit tough as you are learning the ropes and theory as taught in college is different from the practical knowledge you get and need on the job.  Initially it was difficult to get a hang of it, but after a month I managed to understand how the field works. The most frustrating part of the job is initially, the media does not always entertain your calls. Contacts are very important to a celebrity PR Executive. You have to establish and maintain your contacts with the media very well.

Mentors play a very important role in your career. I am lucky to have had some good teachers who guided and shaped my personality and knowledge. Some of them include Pooja Bhardwaj and Iqbal Perwez of NDTV, Rekha Khan of Navbharat Times, my senior and best friend Anup Pandey and my boss Abhishek Thukral. Though there are teachers who have guided me with my career to sum it up I would specifically like to mention two professors Mahesh Savale and Avadhesh Yadav who have helped me a great deal.

As a fresher one can earn about Rs. 12,000 a month. Remuneration for a professional varies depending on how professional and well connected they are. Monthly earnings range from Rs. 30,000 to 3 lakh a month. The advantage of working as a celebrity PR person is that you get to interact with very well known people from the entertainment and media industry and thus widen your social circle. Their lives are very interesting. You get to know them up close and personally.

The general perception is that celebrity PR is about attending parties and socializing with the rich and famous. However, behind the glamour, it is a great responsibility to take charge of a personality’s over-all image in the media industry. If you make a small flaw, the image of your client gets tarnished. Another drawback is that the job is very demanding and hectic. You really do not get time to spend with your family and friends and very often you have to miss important occasions.

My advice to those who want to take up entertainment PR is - Please keep in mind that the field is not about glamour but about strategy. Also remember that in the beginning you are paid less in this field as compared to other lucrative fields but as you grow in this profession there are chances of building a great platform for oneself.

As told to Monarose Sheila Pereira

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