The world’s most scandalous publicist Max Clifford once called Dale Bhagwagar “the top PR to go to in India.” So what made the British spin doctor praise and refer to another publicist? An analysis of the Indian public relations professional and his PR agency reveals a lot.
Often termed the King of Spin in the Indian entertainment industry in Mumbai, Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar tops the list of the most famous PR experts our nation has ever witnessed.
He is known to be the most charismatic of them all, and is credited for pioneering the maximum PR trends in the Indian entertainment PR industry. A PR legend by now, he is the most famous entertainment publicist in India ever, the most quoted, the most trusted, the most experienced (having been in the news media for more than three decades), and the most tech-savvy and the most futuristic. And in spite of his fame, he was the most reachable.
“The Indian entertainment industry has seen many publicists, but none like Dale Bhagwagar,” says an article in India Today, terming him “the most influential Indian publicist on the internet.” It adds, “The most endearing thing about Dale Bhagwagar is the most accessible top Indian publicist people have ever known. While most publicists avoid picking up new numbers, Dale replies to almost everyone. This humble quality makes him more likeable.”
Business Standard has termed him “the legendary Bollywood publicist” and written that “his futuristic PR methods often set the agenda for the entertainment public relations industry for the times to come.” In another article, it has called Bollywood PR agency Dale Bhagwagar Media Group “a market leader in public relations in the PR industry.”
According to an article in Business World, Dale Bhagwagar “tops the list of best PR experts in the Indian entertainment industry.” It adds, “He is one of the most searched and accessible publicists in Bollywood.”
In an analytical piece about Bollywood PR machinery, The Times of India has called him “the man who is one of the busiest star publicists today.”
Media website Reputation Today has called Dale the “Rajinikanth of Bollywood PR.” The site adds, “Over the years, he’s made his own rules, own styles and own world.”
Sudhir Chaudhary, currently the editor-in-chief of Zee News, who hosts Daily News And Analysis (DNA) aired on Zee News, quipped, “Dale, you are a very good publicist,” on live television once.
India’s spiciest columnist, author and novelist, Shobhaa De, has called him “an on-the-ball (well-informed) publicist” in her book Shobhaa: Never a Dull Dé and also in an article written for The Week magazine.
The publicist has been quoted in many other books, including Shilpa Shetty: The Biography, an unauthorised biography of the actress by international author Julie Aspinall.
In an article on the PR industry, the website Bollywood Roundup states, “It is impossible to sum up how Bollywood PR has evolved in the last 25 years without understanding the phenomenon he (Dale) created for the profession.” The citations go on and on and on.
His entertainment PR firm Dale Bhagwagar Media Group has handled the media for around 300 film personalities (yes, you read that right… three hundred), including 30 movies and 20 contestants who have participated in Bigg Boss, the Indian version of the most controversial international reality show Big Brother.
Some of Dale Bhagwagar’s top best PR clients have included popular film stars such as Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra. The Bollywood publicity expert has also handled the PR for famous Hindi films such as the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Don and Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On!!
In fact, one of Dale’s earlier PR clients, Shilpa Shetty, has even won Big Brother (remember the huge controversy about racism which was discussed in the Parliament of the United Kingdom too). The public relations professional handled the media and crisis management for the popular Indian actress at this time.
The publicist is known to be a master in handling controversies and crisis management for celebrities. For this, he has been quoted in each and every prominent Indian media, apart from some of the topmost international publications and news television channels such as BBC World, Sky News, Channel 4, The Independent, BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Times, Mirror, Marie Claire, The Mail and Daily Mail (UK); The New York Times, Voice of America, CNN and The Washington Post (US); The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Pravda (Russia); and International Herald Tribune (France) among many others.
He has been quoted in as many as 30 countries, which places him amongst the ranks of the most talked-about and extensively-quoted film publicists in the world. In fact, Dale has been featured in the media from most of the continents of the world, except Antarctica, the only continent with no permanent human habitation.
Leading new-age website India Shorts notes, “He (Dale) also trains mass communication students in the hundreds in journalism and PR through regular college visits for guest lectures. He conducts virtual work-from-home internships in content writing for Indian media students of journalism and PR. He is the only PR professional who has kept an entry test for students, even for internships. Yes, Dale picks and chooses who he wants to train!”
“Many students who consider him their mentor are currently working in some of the best Bollywood and corporate PR agencies in Mumbai and across India. That’s not all! More than twenty students have completed their thesis and dissertations with Dale Bhagwagar as their guide.”
The site adds, “So vast is his influence over gen-next in entertainment PR that Bollywood journalists often joke that he is creating “Mini Dales” in the PR market. In fact, his PR strategies have made a perfect case study for many students of journalism, PR and mass communication.”
Industry trade website PR Agencies in Mumbai hails Dale Bhagwagar, stating, “He is widely recognised as the Indian entertainment PR industry’s most significant agent of change. Creating many trends in the PR profession, he often sets the agenda on how PR evolves in the industry. Termed as Bollywood’s only PR guru by the Indian media, a simple Google search in his name returns thousands of results.”
In an article, Mid-Day writes that “Dale is known for his journalistic astuteness and PR ethics.” Talking about his PR agency, the publication says, “Its activities bear his personal touch and stamp. The agency has been at the forefront of the entertainment PR brigade for more than two decades.”
An article by Lachmi Deb Roy on Outlook India has termed Dale Bhagwagar “the longest surviving Bollywood publicist” and stated, “Over a period of time, Bhagwagar became so powerful that he got accepted as a spokesperson along with being a publicist to his clients.”
True! Dale is also the only publicist “who is authorised by all his celebrity clients to double up as their spokesperson in the media,” notes another trade site Bollywood Publicity.
It points out that apart from visiting various colleges for guest lectures and training media students in ethical journalism and best PR practices, his official website lists more than 20 mass media and communication students who have completed their thesis and dissertations with Dale Bhagwagar as their guide.
To top it all, the publicist has launched Bollywood PR.in, India’s premier authoritative PR website of the Indian entertainment industry. It recently became the first entertainment PR website from India to make its presence felt on the Google Play Store with the launch of its news app, simply called Bollywood PR.