If ever there was a story of a woman walking eyes wide open into car crash territory, then over the past week we have been watching it as Sally Bercow's marriage to John Bercow breaks down in public.
On paper, this is a woman who, as the (most-probably-soon-to-be-former) wife of speaker John Bercow should be highly respected and have opportunity at her feet.
Yet thanks to a series of ill-advised moves including appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in order to 'stick two fingers up to the establishment', being photographed in Speaker's house draped in a sheet, and most recently her admission of an affair with her husband's cousin in an astonishing outburst in which she declared herself 'f**king heartbroken' and a terrible wife, Sally Bercow has been a constant feature in the tabloids and whatever reputation she did have is now in tatters.
What Sally does next is something much of the media is awaiting in eager anticipation. But Sally, if you are considering doing any of the following, please stop and press pause.....
1) Give an interview or do a photoshoot
Of course one day Sally Bercow may well consider giving an interview but she shouldn't at the moment. Emotions are running too high, and what can she say other than explain and attempt to justify the current mess, thus perpetuating said mess. At such point as an interview is given, it would be better (for her long-term profile) if she has something more that just this week's drama to talk about and the dust has settled, meaning she can dismiss what has just happened with a 'that-was-then-this-is-now' approach.
Engage in any more doorstep talk
We all know what its like when you are feel unheard, misunderstood and unfairly judged, but few of us can imagine what it is like to have that happen in public. So we can therefore understand why, if journalist happens to stop Sally outsider her house she can't help but pour out every last detail and engage in a bit of public tit-for-tat. But revenge (if indeed that is what she is looking for) is a dish best served cold - as is any other matter concerning rescuing a damaged profile. One needs to remove the kneejerk from this situation, and move into the territory of controlled, calm and consistent messaging.
Let herself go
OK, so her heart is quite possibly broken and her life is admittedly in tatters, but following the sobbing on the doorstep images, Sally needs to focus on maintaining her look and poise, at least in public. The notion that all publicity is good publicity does not extend to that in which you look like a crazed harridan. Calm, composed and polished in the face of a media storm, no matter what goes on behind closed doors, is always the best approach. Think Victoria Beckham during and after the Rebecca Loos scandal.
Continue without a long term goal and direction.
Does anyone know what Sally Bercow actually does? Or what she wants to do? Quite. I've just googled 'What does Sally Bercow do?' and I've learned that she insists she is her own woman and that she stood for Labour in the 2010 local elections. That does not however explain what she does or what she wants. So we are left with a public figure with no clear message or direction. I get the feeling Sally Bercow loves being famous, but fame in a vacuum without purpose or a goal ends up confused and chaotic - unless you are Joey Essex of course. Successful businesses after all do not operate without strategy or goals and celebrity is a business, in which a person happens to be the product.
So Sally, whatever it is you are planning to do next, take heed, take pause and do not stroll, fall or plunge into any of the above!