political panel show Question Time celebrated its 30th anniversary
in September of this year. The format has remained mostly unchanged in that time with
a chairman fielding questions from a live audience before a panel of invited
guests usually representing each of the three major political parties in the UK
and a journalist or representative of one of the smaller political parties.
and the BBC, has attracted considerable criticism for extending an invitation
for tonight’s live broadcast to Nick Griffin. In July of this year, Griffin was
democratically elected to the European Parliament where he represents the British
National Party (BNP) a far right party whose members have at various times made
remarks that were anti-Semitic, anti-Islam, homophobic, in support of Holocaust
denial and against mixed-race relationships. While Griffin has tried publicly to
tone down some of the less-palatable aspects of his party’s manifesto, there is
no denying the party’s (and his) roots in the murky world of British fascism.
broadcast, the debate has centered on whether or not Griffin should have been
invited. Some people question whether the BBC, a state-funded broadcast
company, should give a platform to a man whom many consider to be an unrepentant
racist. The response of the BBC, until now, has been that it is merely the
medium and that it would be wrong for the corporation to control the message. I
don’t want to delve further into the ethics of this situation, but I do want to
think about this distinction.
We know that
online video increases engagement for the visitors to your site. We know that
the more video they watch, the more likely they are to continue along the
conversion path you have built for them. An engaged visitor is a contented
visitor and is more likely to download, register or purchase.
today is how important is the medium and how important is the message? Is it
enough to embed today’s most popular video on YouTube within your landing page
to entertain your visitors? How big should such a video be? Could you turn the
entire page into a screening room for the funniest clips and hope that
prolonged exposure to such fare will cause them to click the download button
out of sheer gratitude? In presenting the medium, how much responsibility will
you take for the message?
the other side, should you prepare a video that delivers the right message
clearly and articulately, hitting each of your marketing beats and presenting
an overwhelming case for people to continue towards conversion and then use an
clunky generic player to host it? Do you want someone else’s ads to appear on
the player during and after your precision targeted pitch?
words, how should you divide your attention between the information you are
trying to get across and the method you employ for doing so?
In the case
of tonight’s Question Time, the BBC may be able to claim that they are doing nothing
wrong, merely broadcasting someone else’s opinion. On your own website, you
probably need to focus on the message just as much as the medium. Either one of
them can negatively impact your site’s effectiveness, while doing them both
well can significantly increase your conversion rate.