A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Petition
Here is a guide to help you create your very own petition. If you are already sure about how to do it, you may skip these recommendations and start creating your petition here: Create a Petition
If it is the first time you have created a petition on CitizenGO, or you want to make sure you do it in the most efficient way, I hope you will take a few minutes to read this guide.
Remember that creating a petition is only the first step in three fundamental ones to ensure the success of your campaign:
- Create a petition
- Share your petition
- Act to reinforce or boost the result of your petition
Create Your Petition
To create your petition, please remember that you must fill in the form "Create a Petition."
Before that, we suggest that you do the following:
Two Steps Before You Create a Petition:
1: Establish your goal.
Think about your goal. If you put it in writing, it may help you. Consider:
- What do I want to achieve? Is it possible?
This is your petition.
- Who can make the change that I am requesting?
That individual is your petition target.
- Why should people care about this issue?
Tell an interesting story. Your petition is important to you, but who else cares? Enough people to support and spread your petition?
- Write a brief text addressed to your petition target in which you clearly describe the subject matter of your petition and what exactly you are asking him or her to do. Be brief and descriptive.
2: Gather and prepare the information.
Before you create your petition, you must have some information ready. If you put it into writing, it will be much easier for you to create your petition.
- Addressee: Do I have the email address of the target of my petition?
This will contribute to the success of your petition.
- Data: Do I have enough data and information about the subject matter and the petition target?
This will add consistency and thoroughness to your petition. Keep in mind that you know about the problem, but that others may not.
With these two steps taken care of, you can now create your petition.
Creating a Petition:
Who is this petition addressed to?
An individual with the capacity to make the decision.
- What is it that you ask for? | This is the title of your petition.
This is the very first thing people are going to read. Be precise and concrete, and at the same time sufficiently clear and descriptive. As much as possible, do not use more than 100 characters for your petition title.
- Why is this important?
Remember that you are looking for support, without which you will not achieve your goal. Tell people why this is so important to you and why they should care about it too. Put your heart and emotions into it.
Double-check it all and click the button to publish your petition.
Once you click on the button "Create my Petition," you must fill in a form with your personal data: First Name, Last Name, Email Address, and Password. If you are already a member of CitizenGo.org, you can log in instead.
Congratulations! Your petition has now been created and can be shared.
After you create your petition, you can edit it. I recommend that you do this, and that you add a photo for the petition page and an email address for the target.
Establish your goal, further guidance:
Your goal is to find an addressee who will see your petition and act.
Your petition must be viable, and your addressee must be the correct one (an individual with a capacity to make the decision that you ask for).
Your goal is not to complain or ridicule that person or institution, your goal is to change (or give support to) something.
What do I want to achieve? What do I want to ask for? Ask for something that is viable, possible.
Your petition must focus on a viable target: the situation you want to change can be changed, your goal can be achieved.
For example: You may ask that the representative of your local city, state, or country stop offering financial support to the abortion clinics in your community; you may ask that an exhibit in your city which is offensive to religious beliefs is removed; you may ask that specific assistance is given to the Local Mothers Support Association in your hometown...
You may ask and achieve many viable and specific things.
The addressee (an individual) to whom you address your petition must be the one that can implement that change. He or she must have the capacity, influence, and the tools to do so.
It is no use to ask for something specific and viable if you do not ask the individual who can do it.
Advice: Address your petition to a specific individual. You may want a company, institution, or government to do or change something, but at the end of the day, these institutions are represented by individuals who are the ones that hold the capacity to decide.
Does anybody else care about this petition? And what can you do to make people care?
The petition must concern other people, otherwise it will not work. Even if the subject matter is important to you, you must make sure that it is to others too.
Just because you know about the subject matter and are very interested in its solution, that does not necessarily imply that others know about it or are equally interested.
Tell your story. Write naturally and with simplicity, as if you were telling something to a friend from whom you expect support. Point clearly to the pros and cons of supporting or neglecting your request.
Speak urgently. Generally speaking, your concerns cannot wait. Communicate that urgency.
Gather and prepare your information, further guidance:
Find out your addressee’s email address.
If the individual you are addressing does not have a public email address through which you can reach him, he or she will almost always have an office or secretary or an equivalent resource with a working email address.
If you are still not successful, remember that you can download the list of signatures, print it, and hand it in personally.
NOTE: To access this part of the form, you will have to click on the Edit tab, which you will be able to see once you have created your petition
This is the text with which you will personally address your petition’s target/addressee and ask him to give you his undivided attention.
This text is the core of your petition.
This is a possible outline for your text:
- Explain. Be direct in your explanation of the subject matter. Be clear and objective, and use data as much as possible.
- Ask. Be specific and give details. What is it that you ask him to do ( the addressee)?
- Highlight advantages. Explain the benefits, for all, of your petition being attended to. “All” includes the addressee.
- Highlight inconveniences/disadvantages. If your petition is not attended to, it will be detrimental for everybody. Follow the same argument as in the previous item (advantages), but making reference to the disadvantages of not following through with the petition.
- Urge. Emphasise how urgent your petition is. Ask the addressee to act now, even suggest a deadline.
Create a petition, further information:
Here you have some additional information that may help you make your petition more efficient.
Your petition’s addressee: one individual.
The addressee must be in a position to provide an answer to your petition. It must be within his scope of responsibility to follow through with a solution, to make the change you ask for in your petition.
Example: Mr Obama, President of the United States of America
What is it that you ask for? | The Title of your Petition
When possible, use less than 100 characters.
Example: Appear before the Congress to say when you are going to revoke the Abortion Bill.
The example for the Title consists of less than 100 characters, uses action verbs (appear before), and clearly states what you are asking for.
Do not forget about these other suggestions:
- Tell a story!
- Be brief, but also clear and passionate.
- Explain to potential signers why this should also be important to them.
- Ask them to sign your petition now, because it is an urgent issue that cannot wait.
- Highlight the advantages (for all) of your petition being attended to by the addressee.
- Highlight the possible negative consequences of your petition being neglected.
Your personal data
Once you click on the "Create my Petition" button, you must fill in a form with your personal data: First Name, Last Name, Email (your email address), and Password. If you are already a member of the CitizenGO.org, you will only need to sign in with your username (email address) and your password.
You have created a petition. You may start sharing it now.
You may also access your petition at any time and edit it.
To access your petition, go to your petition page when you are signed in to your account. You will see in grey a number of tabs at the top of the petition page. Click on the Edit tab to access your petition and make any changes.
NOTE: when you are logged in to your CitizenGO.org account, you will see your login name in the top righthand corner of the homepage. When you place your mouse cursor over this avatar, a menu with several choices will be displayed. By clicking on “my petitions,” you will be re-directed to a page where all your ongoing petitions will be listed. Click on the petition that you want to edit.
Your petition’s message:
Include the text that you wrote to send to your petition’s addressee.
Make sure that: 1) you clearly state the problem and 2) you ask the addressee to act and attend to your petition.
You must already have your text written up (Step 2). Now, you only have to copy and paste it into the section of the Form to which you have gained access through the "Edit" tab.
Double-check your text and make sure that: you have kept it brief, you have used short sentences, and you have used emotions and adjectives (without abusing them).
Important. Once you have finished editing your petition, do not forget to click on the red button so that the changes you have made are saved.