Dear Simon Cowell (or whoever is currently in charge of One Direction… though in my heart and mind it will always be Simon Cowell);
First off, I want to let you know that I am both a huge fan of you and of 1D, so everything in this letter is truly backed with love. That being said, I feel like your PR people just don’t know what they are doing with One Direction nowadays. Are you shocked by this blatant opposition of the marketing strategy of one of the most popular musical acts in the world? Allow me to elaborate:
Example #1: Zayn leaving 1D
So I realize that you may not have much choice in the fact that Zayn was leaving the group
– he decided what was happening – but I do feel like you probably had at least a little bit of leverage with regards to, you know, the millions of dollars he had to pay to get out of the On The Road Again tour. With this leverage, could you not have convinced him to hold out to the end of this tour?
If Zayn had agreed to finish the tour, you could have still announced that he was leaving. The last leg of the tour could have been promoted as Zayn’s farewell tour. It may even have boosted ticket sales! And I’m 100% sure Zayn would have felt some relief the minute it was actually announced that he would be leaving at the end of the tour. It’s like when you quit a really crappy job… you feel so excellent the moment you put in your two weeks’ notice. Not that being in One Direction is a really crappy job. I am absolutely sure that it is an extremely awesome job.
Example #2: One Direction’s “Hiatus”
I have to say that I completely agree with 1D taking a break in 2016. I mean, I’ll be sad to see them not being active because I definitely always want to see them on things and know what they are doing. But do you know another act in music that has put out 5 albums in 5 years and kept up the touring and appearance schedule that these guys have? They most definitely deserve some time off to just live their lives. But I really maintain that this could have been handled better.
If One Direction had just released an album at the end of 2015 as a 4-piece as planned, then just straight up took some time off without announcing an official “hiatus”, perhaps the fangirl world (slash the world in general) wouldn’t have imploded in the past week or so. If anyone had questioned why they weren’t doing anything, you could have responded with the fact that they have basically been busy nonstop since they became a thing. If anyone asked when their next tour would be, you could have responded with “watch for news in 2016!”. It all would have been totally fine. I just feel like you let this one get away from you.
So basically, if you’d like some advice on how to handle the next One Direction PR nightmare, please feel free to contact me. I really do have it all figured out.