Create a Petition at #MEAction
This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting different #MEAction features and how to use them. For more how-to and informational articles, please see all the articles on the resources page.
Petitions are a great way to organize a group of people and show the amount of support for a specific idea or a cause. If you have a specific idea or cause that you want to take to specific target (a group or an individual), the petition is for you. Whether it’s a petition to a specific person in your town or a petition to all of the United States Congress, our petition builder can help you. Collect signatures and the contact details of your supporters. Let your supporters tell their stories and stay in contact with your supporters throughout the entire campaign. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can direct and deliver the petition to anyone in any country!
Why should you create a petition at #MEAction?
- Collect signatures. Obviously signature collection is the main goal of any petition. But unlike paper petitions, your supporters can sign the #MEAction petition online. This reduces the amount on-the-ground work you need to do to get signatures. Make sure to ask people to sign AND share the petition so with each signature, you reach an even wider audience.
- Let your supporters tell their stories. With an #MEAction petition you can choose to let your supporters comment on the petition as well as sign it. Depending on the target of your petition, this can be a very powerful tool. ME/CFS patients have powerful stories waiting to be told, give your signatures a chance to become real voices.
- Stay in contact. The petition feature gives you the ability to send out “blast” emails to everyone who has signed your petition. Use this! Send out an update when you hit a certain number of signatures, send out a reminder about an event related to the petition, or ask people to share the petition with friends and family before you reach your deadline.
How do you create a #MEAction petition?
You’re ready to go! Let’s get this started. The petition tool is not too complicated or painful to use, promise. Step one is to head over to the petitions page and create a new petition. Fill out the details about your petition. Pay special attention to the instructions in the specific sections like why this matters. This is where you’re convincing people to take the time to sign and support, make it count!
A few tips and tricks can help you take your petition from good to great!
- Have the narrowest possible target. It can be tempting to have a broad target like “Policy Makers” for your specific issue, there are probably only a handful of people capable of making the decisions that would actually lead to a change. Target those people. The more signatures you can hand to the fewest people, the better your chances of making a difference!
- Have one clear ask. A petition like “Fix ME/CFS” is unlikely to be successful. Why? It’s too broad and whoever it is delivered to is unlikely to even be able to change the situation. Instead, think of exactly what step your target could take that would make the most impact. Make sure that the step can be reasonably accomplished and your reasons for asking are solid.
- Give it an endpoint. One option is a deadline. Nothing gets people motivated like knowing there’s a time crunch. When you start, have at least a rough idea of how long you’ll be collecting signatures before delivering it. 1 month, 1 year? There’s no right or wrong answer, just be sure to announce the deadline as soon as it is definite.
- Give it an endpoint. No deadline? Set a goal. Pick a number of signatures to reach before the petition will be delivered. That goal number will vary widely depending on the target and nature of the petition so do some homework. How many signatures do similar petitions have? How many signatures are likely needed before your target will take your petition seriously?
- Remember, you don’t have to live in the United States or have a political target in order to use the #MEAction petition builder! Create your petition and deliver it to whoever your target is, regardless of nationality, location, language, or just about anything else. At the end of the day, the feature is a tool to help you collect more signatures and create more support for your petition.
Ready, set, petition! You’re ready to start figuratively or literally knocking on people’s doors and gathering support for your movement. Use the #MEAction petition builder to create your petition, manage the signatures, collect the stories, and stay in touch with your audience. Remember, we’re here to help. So if you get stuck, have questions, or just want a second opinion, please contact us.