We are the change

Dannii, Danyl and dealing with a PR crisis

Last night Dannii Minogue very publicly ‘outed’ Danyl Johnson on the X Factor and it made for VERY uncomfortable viewing…

Across the UK the social media tweeters, bloggers and forums were in shock… how could she do this?  Just at the time that Dannii seemed to have won the hearts of the UK public as the female judge of choice.   HOWEVER… she didn’t out him, he had already done it himself on News of the World in August and she was just referring to his public announcement that he was bi-sexual.  The mistake that she made was assuming that everyone who watches the X Factor also reads trashy newspapers or keeps up with celebrity gossip and would ‘get the joke’.

The Result?  National Outrage

So now Dannii has a huge PR problem on her hands.  How does she address the issue quickly / effectively and diffuse the bomb that has just exploded underneath her?

The announcement

Dannii’s PR team were on the case and they posted an announcement on her blog last night emphasising that Dannii meant no  harm and that Danyl was fine with what she said … but this definitely needs to be followed up with a mention tonight on the TV.   She also made a small mention on her Twitter stream and acknowledged a few of her supporters, but I think she could be doing more of this.  Why not put in a link to Danyl’s original article on News of the World?  Why not be human about it and acknowledge that she is annoyed with herself about how badly she managed her comment to Danyl ?  I think people will forgive her much more easily if she is real about making a mistake rather than hiding behind her ‘formal’ PR.  This is what social media is all about and how to use it to most effect.

…and what about the X Factor Twitter Team?  What were they thinking?

The one twitterer that should be supporting Dannii isn’t!  What is going on with the X Factor twitter account?  Last night they re-tweeted someone’s negative comment (now deleted, but you can see other’s retweeting the comment here).  They also have a Twitpic up with Danyl’s performance (the only one of the night), with negative comments about Dannii.  Where is the support from her team?  Where is the link to Dannii’s announcement on their Twitter stream?  One might think that they wanted Dannii to take the flack for this and bear the brunt of the media outrage to drive viewers to the show (surely not?!)

X Factor Twitter betrayal

Only time will tell if there is any lasting damage from the show last night for Dannii but it will be interesting to see how she manages this and if she is able to recover from her very public mistake.  What do you think?  Do you have any advice for Dannii on how she can manage this and nip it in the bud?


UPDATE:  I’m glad to see that Dannii is doing exactly what she should be doing, through her Twitter stream she is being responsive and acknowledging what happened… well done Dannii – I’m glad you’re working the social media tools the way they should be worked!

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  1. Lesley says

    Instead of justifying her comments Dannii needs to defuse the bomb, the only way to do that is to show people your human side. She needs to come out and say what a dumbass she feels, how she meant no harm and hopes she’s not caused any upset, and that she didn’t meant to offend anyone. Also, the facts needs clearing up – the problem is that most people had not read these trashy newspaper stories. Even if they are true people think she just outed him on national TV. Dannii get a grip of this quick or the public will hate you, they’re fickle, and they’re already beginning to. Front this yourself, not your PR team.

  2. Pete Shannon says

    Hi Julie,

    Great tips here for anyone who finds themselves in a sticky situation that’s being compounded and accelerated on SM. Open up, inform and engage.

    Just a thought though- perhaps there’s something a little deeper here? Could this be a very considered and calculated bit of scandal-based publicity? After all, the race debate surrounding the language used by Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke hasn’t done their ratings any harm.

    This would possibly explain the reticence of @TheXFactor to extinguish the flames. What do you think?

    Also, is your blog pre-moderated? Having difficulty commenting.

    All the best,


    Social Media KISS at http://www.peteshannon.com

  3. eily says

    Now, unless xfactor have deleted that tweet, I can’t see them saying that anywhere?

    To me, it looks as though @squallman1 was the first person to say it, and the RT included @TheXFactor because they wanted XFactor to see what they were saying?

    Perhaps I’m wrong? But I can’t see it even in the timeline.

    1. Julie Hall - Editor says

      Hi Eily… they did delete it (not surprisingly) and frustratingly I didn’t take a screen shot when I saw it. I remembered the wowowowowowowow, so found the RT’s that way… but clearly couldn’t show the original as it is no longer in the timeline

  4. Julie Hall - Editor says

    Thanks for your comments Pete… I did think they might be playing nasty games, but I think last night proved that wrong and it was nice to see Simon supporting Dannii rather than leaving her to take it all on herself.

  5. eily says


    Now, as far as I’m aware, if you delete a tweet, it is no longer viewable by your followers (providing they didn’t see it before you deleted it) but it still remains in the public timeline.

    So, for example, if XFactor deleted their tweet, it would no longer show when you visited their twitter page http://www.twitter.com/TheXFactor but if you searched for @TheXFactor it would appear in the public timeline.

    Test it out – post a tweet, then delete it, and then view the public timeline by searching your own twitter name, and it still appears? Unless Twitter have fixed this.

    I seem to recall awhile ago, a twitter account http://twitter.com/astronautics (it has now changed names) abusing followers, and then deleting tweets, but they still appeared in the public timeline.

    The public timeline only goes back about 8 days though…

  6. Julie Hall - Editor says

    Hi Eily… this threw me when I read it as I definitely saw the tweet as did @shoedazzlegirl, @carltonreid and @RadioPaulo as they RT’d it. But you’re right, it’s not in the public timeline… how could this be? So I put on my detective’s hat and discovered that NONE of @thexfactor tweets are in the public timeline (I searched on some of the more recent tweets) – I don’t know why this is the case, but it is. As I said before, I REALLY wish that I had done a screenshot of the original, but I didn’t, so this will have to do in the meantime

  7. Eily says


    That’s very interesting indeed, I didn’t spot that when I was looking that none of the official TheXFactor tweets appear in the public timeline. Well spotted! I don’t mean to sound like I doubt you, I just meant that I immediately when back and looked for TheXFactor saying it, and the first I could see was @squallman1

    It’s definitely very interesting – it’s like repeat of how NOT to use twitter – another case study to add to the Habitat one!

  8. Julie Hall - Editor says

    Hmmm, you’re right, could make for an interesting article…