5 TIPS TO ENGAGING others towards victory on your petition campaign
TIP 1: SET A CLEAR GOAL AND TIMELINE, AND INCLUDE THEM IN EVERY CAMPAIGN OUTREACH
- Think about what it will take to move your target to support the goal of this petition: How many signatures will you need for them to feel your pressure?
- Setting a petition signature goal is not an exact science but should be based on information related to who the decision-making target is, how big your community is, as well as what is the estimated reach of your networks, and that of the people you know.
- Giving people a general idea of the timeline of this campaign and the urgency of acting now can help to motivate them to prioritize taking action on your campaign.
TIP 2: START WITH AN EMAIL
- Email is still the #1 way that people receive information online.
- What works in your favor as a petition starter is that people open emails from their friends more than they do from orgs.
- Before you reach out to people you know, try to sort them into groups based on how you know them (i.e. a group for… friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and community)
- This will help you tailor your emails to different groups by adding in specific words or phrases that help them see why you think they would be interesting in supporting the campaign.
- If you use the email template provided, be sure to add a personal touch by including why you made the choice to launch this petition campaign.
TIP 3: POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
- Use the platform(s) where you have the most developed networks first.
- Provide direct calls to action in your post (e.g. Join me by signing this petition today!)
- Be sure to ask people in your network to share with their networks as well.
- Send direct messages to targeted friends in addition to sharing on your and other’s timelines.
- Try to always share an image on a tweet.
- Keep Facebook posts brief.
- On Facebook, go ahead and tag folks who might be interested.
- @Mention Folks who might want to see the content.
TIP 4: REACH OUT TO LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS ON THE GROUND
- Do some online research to find out if there are local organizations and other individuals interested in and/or doing work related to the goal of your petition.
- Call and ask to meet with these leaders to see if they are willing to help you grow the petition by sharing it with their networks and/or members.
- Discuss and coordinate other collaborative efforts that could help achieve the goal of the petition.
- Recruit a local leadership team of interested individuals to lead on the petition campaign with you.
- Meet in-person to strategize together how to collaborate to win on the campaign.
- Set clear goals, roles, community agreements and a coordination plan and timeline to ground your shared work.
- Schedule a regular check in time to report back and strategize together, even if on phone or email.
- Celebrate successes together on the campaign - big and small.
- As this is a local campaign, gathering signatures for the petition in your community will also be key to its success. It’s easy: print out your petition, talk to people about why this is important, collect their details and enter them back into the site.
TIP 5: UPDATE YOUR PETITION SUPPORTERS REGULARLY
- One of the best ways to keep people engaged in your petition campaign, is to continue to tell a story that motivates them to continue to act by sharing regular updates and other related information by email and social media.
- You can use updates to let supporters know how the campaign is doing:
- Tell them when new supporters join
- when current events occur that may have impact on the campaign.
- Tell them how many signatures you have until you reach your goal.
- Be sure to always refer back to your petition so that anyone who hasn’t signed it can click on the link to do so.
- This is not necessary to do every day, just be sure to keep your supporters updated regularly as the campaign progresses.
- As your campaign grows, you can email the people who have signed your petition directly through this platform, and ask them to do more: to share the campaign, to show up to an event, to contact a decision maker… It’s up to you!
- For example, once we won the Confederate flag campaign, we sent out an email to people who had signed the petition to let them know about the victory. We also asked them to sign on to another campaign about taking down racist symbols in their own community.
- Lastly, don’t forget to TELL THE STORY. You’re sending an email about a specific ask, but it’s always important to explain how it fits into a larger story of the injustice you are seeking to correct.
- For example, when we sent an email out asking our members to sign a petition to get Fox News’ director fired for filling the airwaves with hate speech, we made it clear that the issue wasn’t just about one recent comment that had been made–it was about the way Fox news has created a dangerous environment for black people by perpetuating racism over the years.
- The benefit of telling a story is that it lets people know this isn’t just an email; it’s part of a larger movement for racial justice.
- This will help create the urgency that you want people to feel that compels them to take action with you.