Promote Your Petition

How to promote your online petition

Congratulations! You've created a petition -- you're one step closer to making a change. Now, it's time to show that your issue is important to many others as well.

Step 1: Tell Your Networks




Step 1: Tell Your Networks

  • Email your friends and family.
  • Share your petition on Facebook.
  • Tweet and post updates.

    •  Email your friends and family.

      Asking your friends and family to sign and share your petition is the absolute best way to build momentum for your petition. Not only do they know and support you, their signatures show how important this campaign is to you and your community. (But remember, only email people you know. Emailing strangers could land your messages in the spam folder!)

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      Share your petition on Facebook.

      Many of the most successful petitions on Change.org have used the power of Facebook to spread the word. Once you've shared the petition on your own Facebook Wall, try to get a little more traffic for your petition on other people's pages:

      • Ask people to “Like” your post.
      • If you ask, people will like your post, so go for it! Plus, the more likes, the more of your Facebook friends will see the story in their own news feed.

      • Create a Facebook page for your campaign.
      • Ask people who "like" your page to sign and share the petition. Post updates to Facebook and Change.org.

      • Tag your decision maker in your posts.
      • If the decision maker you're targeting has a Facebook page, "like" their page, then tag them in your posts (type an @, then start typing the name of their page) to increase exposure to other networks. Want to read more about engaging with your decision maker? Click here.

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      Tweet and post updates.

      Although email and Facebook are the best ways to spread the word, using Twitter - a common social networking and information gathering space - can be helpful as well. Similar to Facebook, you want others to share, or in this case retweet, your petition. If you're a Twitter newbie, check out this great tutorial. Here are some key things to remember when tweeting:

    • Keep it short.
    • You have 140 characters, but don’t use them all because you need to...

    • Make it retweetable.
    • Retweetable posts should be well under 140 characters, because people retweeting, or RTing, the post will add your Twitter handle to the tweet. A handy formula is (RT Length = 140 - (Handle length + 5).

    • Remember @Replies vs @Mentions.
    • It's a great idea to tag the @Name of your decision maker in your tweet, but make sure you are using a @Mention tag and not a @Reply tag. (Using a @Mention tag will make sure more people see the tweet.) To do this, make the sure the @Name of the target is in the middle of the tweet, not at the very beginning. If you need to start it off that way, add a .@ in front of their handle.

    • Use a hashtag (#).
    • Hashtags are what people use to follow certain issues or events, so if you use a particular hashtag, people will see your tweet even if they don’t follow you. Anyone can create a hashtag, but it’s good to use ones that people already follow while you’re trying to spread the word. To find hashtags, do a search on Twitter for the topic of your petition, then notice what #hashtags #are #being #used.

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      Step 2: Dig Deeper to Spread The Word


      • Tell your story with video.

        Have a camera and a story to tell? Consider making a brief (1-2 minute) video that your supporters can share via Facebook and Twitter. Petition starters like Sean Chapin, who successfully convinced the San Francisco Giants to make an "It Gets Better" video through a Change.org petition, have uploaded video to YouTube to get their message across in a colorful way. Make sure to include a link to your petition in your video (find out how here). 



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        Post on your own blog or listserv.

        Even if you have a blog about cooking, gardening or video games, your readers are already fans of your content, so they’re highly likely to be interested in your petition too.

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        Reach out to bloggers, listservs and Google Groups.

        Today, breaking news isn't just told by mainstream media (TV, newspapers and radio) but by people like you. Here are some ways to find, and contact, bloggers on your issue:

        • Find relevant blogs.
          Do a quick Google search with keywords like "blog, local food, Massachusetts" or "immigration, alabama, blogs" to find relevant blogs. After you've found a few, scan them for links to other similar blogs. (Most blogs have a "Blogroll" or a listing of other blogs posted prominently on the site.)

        • Reach out to bloggers.
        • Once you're familiar with a blogger's work, reach out to him or her with the link to your petition and your personal story. Make sure you read a few of their posts so you know what each blogger is interested in writing about.

          Remember: Be personal and build a relationship. Many bloggers are happy to make contact with readers and read submissions, but most prefer a personal email over a press release.

        • Post to community blogs and aggregators.
          Submit a link to your petition to Reddit, a popular content aggregator, and encourage other Reddit users to leave comments or messages of suppport. You could also start a diary on Daily Kos, Firedoglake or other community blog sites.


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          Find allies in local groups and organizations.

          Look around your community -- local political groups, parent organizations, environmental groups or hobbyist clubs may want to formally or informally support your campaign, help with media outreach, in-person events or petition deliveries. If you know the name of the group you're looking for, you can also search Change.org's nonprofit listings: http://www.change.org/nonprofits

          Here is a small list of types of organizations who may be able to help. What other groups can you think of?

          • Parent-Teacher Associations
          • Religious leaders and congregations
          • Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Independent Committees
          • Labor Unions
          • Student Groups

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Go To The Next Tip: Talk To Your Decision Maker