Until a couple of days ago Samantha Brick was a writer that few people had heard of. But now her Daily Mail piece – Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful – has been viewed by millions after it went viral on the internet. Most people seem to agree – the reason the article has attracted so much attention is because Samantha is not as pretty as she thinks she is – and she does not appear to consider that the way she portrays herself might be why she has few friends.
Whatever … what should Samantha Brick do now and will it be the beginning or the end of a beautiful career? And can negative publicity be as effective as positive publicity?
* Samantha Brick is a professional writer. She has had a long career in television and will know exactly how the media ticks. She herself admits she put the idea up to the Features Editor. She asked to write the feature and she will have had full control over that story. She confesses, though, she had no idea it would provoke such a reaction. This is also true – as a journalist when you write a piece, you can never imagine what response it will get – and some articles will gain a huge number of comments whilst others, none. Samantha Brick has also written numerous other articles for Femail – namely ‘I used my sex appeal to get ahead at work’, ‘I don’t eat anything that won’t fit on a fork’, ‘Would you let your husband dress you, ‘Why my husband says he’ll divorce me if I get fat’, how she paid £25K to psychics and let it ruin her marriage and how her stepson first hated her. There are others… and because of that, she is no stranger to controversy.
Granted, none have elicited quite such a response – but those other articles have attracted many comments (many of them nasty) – and it can be said that any writer who puts themselves up to write any personal feature which will be printed on the world’s biggest publishing website, which is known for its comments, will know exactly what they are doing.
So does Samantha really believe she is so beautiful that women hate her? It would appear so – and she might well be extremely hurt by so many cruel comments on Twitter. BUT – by doing a follow-up story the next day in the Daily Mail (and she is rumoured to be appearing on ITV THIS MORNING) and reinforcing her first article – she is handling the attention like a true pro.
She will realise – if she is savvy and her work credentials prove she is – that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you want instant fame – and it would seem by writing so many other controversial personal articles before – that she does, then she has achieved it.
When this happens, there are two ways of reacting. One is to retreat into your shell, wounded and upset and wait for the whole nightmare to pass over. This is the knee-jerk reaction, and I am sure Samantha Brick felt like doing just this more than once as she trended on Twitter feeds both in the UK and the US. It is also the response of many amateurs – just when they can really cash in on their story – they go to ground.
It is a mistake – and it is why Samantha Brick is RIGHT to come out fighting and do a follow-up articles and interviews. It is why over the next few days she needs to make the most of any publicity she can, using her knowledge of the industry to keep control (as she appears to be doing – after all, she did write her own follow-up piece…).
The hardest thing is to keep publicity going – which is why the likes of Katie Price and Victoria Beckham are constantly reinventing themselves. The press and the public do get bored quickly and will soon be on to something else.
She also has to contend with being known for ‘that woman who wrote that piece about women hating her because she was beautiful’ but we believe it will only make people want to read further articles she writes more. Whatever their views about her, despite themselves they will want to read what she says next.
I would imagine editors would be queuing up for her to write an article for them – after all, don’t forget this is an article which brought 1.5million hits alone to the Daily Mail’s website. Which paper or magazine would not want that sort of rush to read its features?
Of course, this can be a pressure in itself. The other Daily Mail favourite Liz Jones is often criticised for her views – but it isn’t easy to come up with one article after another that will also get people thinking (so don’t knock those papers that do this day in, day out) and get people talking. So Samantha Brick might find herself wondering what on earth can she write that will follow this…
How she appears on TV (such as ITV This Morning) will also be make or break for her. If she is witty – even if she says shocking things that make people revile her more or turns out to be extremely likeable – it will push her further up the career ladder. It can be the beginning of invites to more chat shows both in the UK and abroad – she could even find herself being asked to present a TV show herself (don’t forget too she has years of experience in TV at a high level.) But if she is bland on TV, and especially if she comes over as dull, then a TV appearance could go against her.
Whatever happens, however, when anyone finds themselves in the centre of a media storm, they should grab every opportunity. Now is the time to get a book deal or publish one you’re already writing, now is the time to do further interviews or photos.
If she is successful and wants the fame then surely she’s a shoo-in for I’m a Celebrity – Get me Out of Here (the new Gillian McKeith?) or Celebrity Big Brother.
You might not like Samantha Brick, the thought of her making money and gaining more fame on the back of what you might see as ridiculous and vain article might annoy the pants off you, but the truth is there is no reason why this can’t be the beginning of a new and ‘beautiful career’ for her.
What do you think? Will it be the end of Samantha’s freelance career or will this launch her into a whole new arena? Let us know your thoughts below…