Handbook (suggestions): starting up a petition

What is a Petition?

A petition is the best way for you to be heard using the tool Create a Petition in CitizenGO.

You want something to change, you want to make yourself heard.

With a petition you address yourself to a politician, an individual, institution or company from whom you ask something to change.

In CitizenGO we offer you the tool to implement your petition and to make it reach a wider target, so that you can share it with hundreds, thousands and even hundreds of thousands of people who, if they wish to, will support it, making your request their own and will send it to the addressee asking him to act.

With this online Start Up a Petition tool we want to help generate, among other things, a surge of changes in order to build a better society.

How (and why) does a petition in CitizenGO work?

How it works

Start Up a Petition with CitizenGO is a very powerful tool to put forward a petition, promote a change and make yourself heard.

It is as easy as filling up a form. To put it simply look at this detailed step-by-step procedure to start up and spread a petition:

You have an idea ... you want to change something, you want to make yourself heard.

  1. You start up a petition filling in the CitizenGO form Start Up a Petition.
  2. You spread your petition with the means we make available to you and through your email (your contacts) and Social Media. Depending on the nature of your petition, we from CitizenGO will send emails to our own subscribers and friends in order to help you spread it and generate a bigger impact.
  3. You act doing a follow-up of how your petition is “working”, reinforcing it if necessary with further information or complementary actions.

Why it works

There is strength in numbers. Internet, the email and social media allow you to reach an uncountable number of people both in your circles and the outer world that probably would like to make the very same changes and support a specific petition.

Politicians, companies, institutions, Governments … are all conscious of the strength and the reach of online tools. And they very much value their reputation and the consequences that, for their present and future position or job, may have to ignore a just petition massively supported by a sufficient number of citizens.

A simple complaint or isolated petition is not usually effective. The addressee may believe that you are the only one complaining, the only one to make a petition about a specific issue. It is therefore ignored.

But what if that same addressee receives hundreds or even thousands of complaints or petitions about one single issue? And what if he receives them for several days on a row? And what if on top of emails he receives hundreds or even thousands of phone calls asking him to act now, to change something? Will he be in a position where he can ignore these petitions? With no consequences?

Best practice. The secret to success.

Obviously nothing guarantees that a petition is going to progress... but there are certainly some good practices you may consider in order to achieve success. We will here show you some that will be further developed in A Step-by-Step Guide (to create and spread a petition)

  • This is personal...

A petition is made by you so that something gets changed. You are the one that creates your petition, so that something changes. Write your petition explaining how important it is for you and for all to achieve what you ask for. A petition in which you get involved is much more efficient than a simple complaint about something you don’t like or are against. Put your heart in it...

  • A specific and viable petition... addressed to the correct individuals and institutions

What you ask for must be something specific and viable (it must be achievable)... and the addressee of your petition must be the correct one, he must have the capacity to change something following your petition.

If you ask for wars to stop in the world... and you ask the President of the Government...you will not succeed, period.

If, on the other hand, you ask your Mayor not to stop the support or grant to the Association of Mothers of your city, you will possibly be successful...

  • The way to do it...

Be specific and clear. Better than bright and enigmatic...

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms (name), don’t remove the financial support to the Association of Mothers of (your city),

Es probablemente más efectivo que

Hey Mayor, you can do it!

  • The addressee's email address

We are talking about petitions online. If you include the addressee's email address together with your petition, whenever an individual signs your petition the addressee will automatically receive a direct email into his in tray... You can also download and print the signatures sheets and hand them in to the addressee's office or institution you address your petition to.

  • The email, the right tool to spread your petition

The email is the most used and consulted online tool by Internet surfers worldwide. And in your family, friends and contacts lists surely there will be a considerable amount of people you email and ask to support and sign (and spread out) your petition.

  • Social Media

Strength is in numbers. This is so evident and commonly acknowledged that little explanation is needed... Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) allow you to be in contact with tons of people at a time. And allows you to ask all of them with a single action to join you and support your petition. Moreover, you may ask them to, on their turn, spread out your petition, thus creating a vicious circle around your purpose. You then together create a surge of changes.

  • The Media ( Press)

This is yet another jump ahead when it comes to spreading and getting enough impact so that your petition is echoed (sufficiently) and to get done with it. Perhaps you may send some of them the “news” about your petition.

You may also like to read...

Guide to Create a Petition | A Step-by-Step Guide to Spread a Petition | Frequently Asked Questions about Petitions (FAQ)