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How to Create a Care2 Petition: Advanced Tactics

How to Create a Care2 Petition: Advanced Tactics

This is the fourth post in a series of five explaining the ins and outs of creating a petition: from what to write in your petition text to advanced promotion and activism techniques. This series is a how-to guide for creating a successful petition and helping it reach its highest potential.

So far we’ve covered choosing a target, crafting your petition, and getting those initial signatures. After you’ve circulated your petition to your personal network of friends, family, and social media followers, you’re sure to have snagged a ton of signatures. Great! But there are a few more creative ways to promote your petition to an even wider audience. More advanced techniques, like alerting journalists and/or sending out updates to signers, can help you go the extra mile to make an impact.

How to get even more signatures:

1. Send petition updates about developments on the issue.

The easiest way to keep your petition signers interested in your cause is to send out updates when important developments arise. But make sure the update is relevant! Don’t post updates like, “We got 100 signatures! Thanks everyone!” Save updates for news related to the issue itself — maybe there’s been a new development in the issue, or you’re planning an in-person petition delivery and want to invite signers.

This petition demanding an end to cruel monkey testing at the University of Washington sent out three exciting updates of news developments.

One update read:

“On Friday the 18th, activists delivered approximately 50,000 signatures on a petition to President Young at the University of Washington and at the same time, the petition was delivered to Francis Collins at the NIH. Activists made it clear to staff in Young’s office that the fraud and torture in the baby monkey lab must end. For information on how to contact Michael Young and Francis Collins go to www.peopleforreason.org and for video of the protest and march go to www.facebook.com/gotoprism.”

What an exciting and useful update!

If you’re planning a petition delivery to your target, an update is a great way to remind your signers to share the petition. It can help you secure a final push for signatures.

2. Follow up with another action that will help push your target.

Your petition signers are on your side – and many are hungry to do more! Take advantage of their strength to help you win your campaign by asking them to take follow-up actions after they sign. This can also be done by posting updates on your petition.

Some ideas for this are: ask your signers to post on your target’s Facebook wall with a message about the issue, or give your signers a sample tweet they can send with an @ mention to your target. A lot of change has been made by a target feeling pressure from a large volume of social media users who are making their concerns very public.

You can also find your target’s phone number (to their office), and ask your signers to call the target. Give them a list of short, powerful talking points that they can use when they call, and ask them to do it within a short timeframe so the target is bombarded with calls. Just keep in mind, in most cases it is best to encourage your signers to be respectful and kind when requesting change, rather than accusatory and confrontational.

3. Be creative!

Think of other unusual ways to boost your number of signatures. Contact your petition target to let them know about the petition, and see if they respond. Record a YouTube video detailing the issue and why it’s important. Tweet the petition link to a celebrity who is involved with your cause. You never know what might work!

4. Ask reporters to cover your petition in the media.

Getting your petition in the news will help more people learn about your campaign and show your target you are determined. To see if reporters are interested, you’ll have to send a quick and easy email pitch.

A pitch email should be addressed and sent to a specific reporter — no mass emails! Your pitch should be short and sweet – remember, the reporter gets dozens of pitches every week, so you won’t have their attention for very long. Make sure to include all relevant details, including what you hope the petition will accomplish, your personal connection to the issue, a link and information about how the reporter can contact you for more information or interviews.

Let reporters know why you decided to contact them, too. Did you notice that they wrote about a similar article recently? Are you a fan of their blog?

  • Get creative about which reporters you pitch.

Pitch the petition to local newspapers or to the newspapers and blogs that you personally read. Send it to issue-specific news sites or blogs. Do a Google search of reporters who have covered similar issues, and reach out to them. Sometimes, you’ll have to dig to find the reporters’ email addresses. If you have trouble finding a reporter’s email address, search for their profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or other social media sites.

  • Prepare your talking points.

If a reporter responds to your pitch, be ready to answer interview questions! Try to anticipate the questions they’ll ask and prepare a few talking points clarifying the issue. Be sure to mention any updates you might have (including the current number of signatures), and ask the reporter to link back to your petition in their final story. The traffic from the news article can get you even more signatures!

Now that you have all the tools for pushing a petition to the next level, all that’s left to do is to start your own petition on Care2! In our next installment, we’ll discuss planning a petition delivery.

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1684 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B2 days ago

TY

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Lesa D
Lesa D14 days ago

thank you Emily...

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Lesa D
Lesa D1 months ago

thank you Emily...

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Jack Y
Jack Y1 months ago

thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

Noted

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Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago

TY

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Lesa D
Lesa D3 months ago

thank you Emily...

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John J
John J3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Ellie M
Ellie M4 months ago

ty

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Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

Noted

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

about Emily L.

is a Team Manager at Care2. Her passions include organic farming, water issues, and animals.




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