Anonymous just mentioned in a comment that Karan should hire the same PR professionals that Shahrukh is using, and that got me thinking about what I would do, were I to be hired by Karan.
Karan’s PR now seems to be focused on him being the best friend of everyone powerful, on him being fun and entertaining and spectacular in public appearances, and on him being a cool nasty harbinger of taste in the industry. Which worked fine until Kangana started attacking him on his professional credentials (claiming that he only hires/casts through nepotism) and suddenly everyone has lost all respect for him.
Now, here’s what I would do, were I to be hired by Karan! Forget the talk show, the fashion, the big parties, the public friendships. Bring out the “Dharma is the fastest growing and most successful banner in India” part of things. Talk about how he was the son of a failed producer who built this business from scratch. And also talk about how he has discovered and nurtured so many behind the scenes talents over the years. Do a “Behind the Scenes at Dharma” series where he is very serious and wearing normal clothes and talking about what he is passionate about. Downplay his role as mentor to young stars, upplay his role as mentor to young directors, writers, producers.
And I would make sure Karan gets credit for the really out there groundbreaking films he has made and produced. I know he wanted to build a Dharma brand identity, the studio with the fun youthful movies, but at this point that brand is damaging him personally and the studio identity. He needs to push Agneepath, Kapoor & Sons, Baar Baar Dekho, The Lunchbox, Raazi. Build Dharma into “the studio that can and will do anything” instead of “the studio that only does romances”. And along the way, maybe that will get people to take a second look at Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, My Name is Khan, and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and see that Karan himself doesn’t just make “happy young romances” either.
Anyway, that’s what I would do! Reposition Karan as the head of a business, and that business as one that has a lot of variety in what it does. What would you do to fix Karan’s PR?