A successful petition has the proper aims, is crafted for the correct audience, and has a powerful message that connects with them. To make your petition easier to read, keep it brief (150–200 words) and add paragraph breaks and bulleted lists. Use simple language and avoid complex sentences to keep it accessible to everyone.
There are two types of petitions: formal and informal. A formal petition is presented by someone with authority to make decisions on behalf of an organization or group. This type of petition should be signed by at least one representative from each department of the organization/group. An informal petition is written by anyone who wants to raise awareness about an issue that they believe needs attention from people in authority. In most cases, individuals who write an informal petition do not sign it.
Formal petitions can be submitted in writing or through digital signatures. If you choose to use a digital signature, you will need to provide instructions on how people can contact you if they have questions about the petition. You may want to include an email address or phone number in case people have more questions after signing it.
Informal petitions can only be sent via email. When writing an email petition, be sure to include a clear call to action asking people what they plan to do about the issue you have raised.
Create a concise title that catches the reader's attention and makes an immediate connection. Create a summary that either demands or seeks change and explains why people should sign.
Use language that is relevant to your audience and includes specific calls to action. For example, if you are writing a petition letter to Congress, include requests that they pass legislation to protect animals. Tell readers how they can help by signing the petition and providing their address. Finally, be sure to follow through after you have collected enough signatures. Sometimes just sending a note saying that you will keep them in mind is enough to get a person to sign again.
The best way to find out what works and what doesn't is to test different approaches. You could start small by running a simple social media campaign or even a single email. As you learn more about how people interact with you through social media or emails, you can improve your strategy going forward.
General principles for creating and distributing petitions. The preface to the petition should be brief. Create a petition with clear rationale and solid reasons. Begin your petition statement with the words "We the undersigned." Keep your campaign remarks as brief as possible while outlining your issues. Do not use profanity or include libelous statements when distributing a petition.
Examples of good petition statements include: "We demand that you stop killing cats." "We ask you to remove the cat statue from your lawn." "Sign this petition to have tuna served on Mondays." Avoid using phrases like "sign this petition" or "go here to sign up," as this gives the impression that you are trying to get people to sign up for something. Instead, state your message in a direct way and let people decide what role they want to play in bringing about change.
It is best to write out your petition and have many people sign it. This shows that there is support for your cause among the public and may encourage the company that you are addressing issues with to listen to what others have to say. You can also send out electronic petitions if you would like by posting them on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. People can then read about your issue and take action without having to print out a paper copy of the petition.
As long as your petition does not violate any laws, your employer cannot prevent you from distributing it within the workplace.
General Instructions for Starting and Running a Petition Campaign
To make a petition, follow these steps:
Creating an effective petition
Include a paragraph or two behind your objective statement that briefly defines the nature of the issue, a statement about why the issue is important to the petition audience, and a recommended solution or call to action to solve the issue. You want to express the problem in a way that someone can understand, even if they don't know anything about the source. Include relevant links and sources.
In addition to setting the stage for how readers should respond to your petition, a goal statement helps ensure that your petition includes a clear request for what you want. If you are writing a letter to a public official, then your goal statement might read something like this: "I am writing to ask that you support legislation that would prevent animals from being used in medical experiments." By including this information in your letter, you are clearly asking for something—in this case, legislation to protect animals from being used in medical experiments.
It's also important to note that not all petitions require goal statements. Petitions often include one element, such as "Save the Whales," or "End Animal Testing," so there's no need to specify what type of response you're looking for through written communication. However, some petitions seek specific actions from government officials or companies; these petitions usually include a goal statement asking them to take certain actions to resolve the issue. For example, a petition seeking to ban whale hunting in several countries could include a goal statement asking governments to enact legislation prohibiting the practice.
8 Tips for Creating Successful Change.org Petitions