by Raedene Melin
Last year, I had the chance to write some petitions on Care2. I was thrilled that I could finally combine my love for writing with my passion for human rights and environmental issues.
At first, writing effective petitions was quite daunting. It was challenging to convey as much information as possible in as few words as possible. But as time went on and my experience increased, I was able to develop certain techniques that helped my petitions become successful.
In my petitions, I always quickly state why it is important that people care about the issue. I also mention, right at the beginning of the petition, where I find my information and the basic facts. I try to avoid writing petitions based on opinions — I know I will lose credibility in the eyes of my readers and supporters. I also always include an appropriate photo. A picture really is worth a thousand words, and it can help people visualize what they are supporting.
Once I finish publishing my petition, I always post it on Facebook and Twitter. I find Twitter to be the most effective, as my post will be linked together with other posts that are discussing the same topic. Another good source to help give petitions more exposure is blogs that discuss pertinent topics. More often than not, I’ll get a response from a smaller blog than from a large organization. And last but not least, remember that if you are passionate about the topic, this will show in your writing and will convince people to act.
One lesson that I have learned is that while many people will love and be thankful for your efforts, there will also be those who disagree with you. I always keep in mind that dialogue is essential in trying to promote change and that even if you are criticized for the stand you take, keep fighting for the issues that you are passionate about as you are making a difference and impacting the world.