Before you create a petition...
If you want to create a petition, this short article provides essential guidelines. Creating a petition is not as difficult as you might think. However, you first need to decide whether to start a paper petition, an e-petition or both. The points raised in this outline can be applied to making both online petitions (e-petitions) and paper petitions. The issues raised below are designed to help campaigners write and start petitions that will have a positive impact for specific and well defined causes.
Factors to consider before you create a petition
You need to take into account a number of issues such as the requirements of your target (procedural, legal or otherwise), proper research, clear communication, and how you will market or promote your petition.
Before you create your petition, we recommend that you ask your target for petition rules (if the target is a government organization, legislature or parliament). But please note that many petitions do not need to comply with any guidelines because many petitions are written to organizations and groups that do not have guidelines. Petitions to parliaments should follow local jurisdictional procedure. You may however bypass Parliament or Congress by sending your petition to the Executive Branch of government such as directly to the President or 10 Downing Street, or directly to your State or County representatives.
Accurate research before you create your petition
A petition should begin with a request, followed by well researched reasons for making the request. Each petition should provide a description of relevant circumstances and links to documentation or facts that support that description. Importantly, a petition should contain information that suggests its request is feasible. Ultimately a petition will request specific action or a call for someone (or some group or organization) to refrain from specific action(s).
Don't clutter your petition with background or requests that have no essential connection with the main message. Proofread your petition carefully. Make sure it:
- describes the relevant circumstances,
- suggests what is needed, and
- explains why it is needed.
Be clear and concise with your message.
General guidelines for writing a petition
- The petition preamble should be short and understandable in layman's language.
- Make a petition that has clear logic and argumentation in the preamble.
- Begin your petition statement with a phrase like: We the undersigned hereby affirm. . .
- Keep all campaign statements as short as possible, while laying out your concerns.
- Start with general principles and progressively get more specific, ending with your requests.
- Create a petition that has a clear focus so that others can follow and commit to your cause.
How to promote your petition
How you promote your petition will have a critical influence on the outcome of your campaign.
- Combine your e-campaign with a paper campaign and synchronise your signature lists. Thus you may bring your petition to events where you expect there will be people who support it and can sign on the spot.
- Follow up: It is important because it demonstrates that there is real commitment behind the signatures. Contact your supporters. This will make your campaign both progressive and viral. For example, encourage signatories to write, call, or visit MPs to explain why they signed the petition.
- Ask your target to respond to your petition within 45 calendar days of its presentation. If this fails to occur, then follow the matter up with someone to whom the target is accountable.
- Contact media groups with an explanation of your campaign.
There are many examples of high quality petitions at GoPetition. So we suggest that you read some of our more popular petitions and use these as templates before you create your petition. For further advice on how to write a petition, don’t hesitate to contact us.
How to create a petition with instant access now!
GoPetition has advanced edit software that allows you to add updates, news items, photos, videos and other material to your petition at any time. You may also link to your website from your petition. A free forum facility is also provided with every petition.
How to market your petition
How can I market my petition? We suggest a strategic use of social media such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. You may also wish to issue a media release and contact key media and news groups directly. How you market your petition will have a critical influence on the outcome of your campaign. Please refer to our help page
or contact us
for a free consultation.
We are committed to quality customer service and advice. If you have any queries about petition creation or how to write a petition, or you need help to write a petition, please contact us
and we will reply as a matter of priority. If you need help to create a petition we can assist with petition writing advice and provide feedback on how to write a petition. In short, we can advise on how to create a petition and how to market your petition.
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