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Using Organise

How to share your petition, open letter, snap poll or question – and stay safe and anonymous

Here’s our quick guide on how to share petitions, how to get more signatures on petitions, and how to stay safe when starting a petition or any other Organise action.

Roxana Khan-Williams
March 30, 2021

Growing your supporters grows the power of your campaign, making it more likely to get the attention of the decision-maker who can make the change you want to see – so spreading your campaign far and wide is vital.

If you're just starting out it can be hard to know where to begin, but soon enough your campaign can snowball from a handful of supporters to hundreds or even thousands!

An Organise member started a petition to stop Boris Johnson’s plans to appoint 50 new Conservative Lords and make them promise they’ll never challenge the Conservative government if they take the job. The petition captured the anger and frustration lots of people were feeling and got more than 16,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Not all actions have to capture the public’s imagination to have impact, but getting those initial supporters can be the difference between a successful action and not.

How to share your petition, open letter, poll or question publicly

To get the ball rolling it can help to send a quick message to close friends, family and trusted colleagues via WhatsApp, text or email with the link to the petition, open letter, poll or question asking them to add their support. Take a moment to go through your contacts or Facebook friends and include everyone you can!

Top tip: If your action is about an issue such as climate action at work, look for Facebook groups that might be interested and share it there. There are lots of big communities already talking and campaigning on a specific issue, or around their workplace or profession (e.g. freelancers in the arts, etc).

If you have Twitter or Instagram, search for accounts which talk about the issue and message them or tag them to request a share or retweet. If you have a connection with anyone with a large social media following, ask them to help you too.

If you’ve started a petition or open letter that relates to a specific area, like a local branch of a supermarket, contact local newspapers which may want to hear about the issue you’re facing.

However you share make sure you give people a good reason to join you - make it personal and explain why the issue is important to you or people you know.

How to share your action and keep your identity protected

If you're campaigning to change your own workplace, you may want to keep your identity private.

Don't worry, there are still plenty of ways you can get your campaign off the ground without revealing your identity publicly. Here are some top tips for staying safe while sharing a petition, or another Organise action.

  • Start with people you trust. Getting the first 10 signatures or participants can often be the hardest, so ask those closest to you first. If you're nervous about sharing with colleagues, ask friends and family to jump in to get things rolling.
  • Share privately. Instead of posting publicly use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, email or SMS to let people close to you know about the action.
  • Ask people you trust at work to do these steps too.

If you've followed all these tips and are still struggling to get your petition, open letter, poll or question off the ground, reach out to us at action@organise.org.uk

Ask your supporters to spread the word

Asking supporters to share the action with people they know is the most powerful tool you have.

Every person who signs your petition or open letter, or answers your poll or question, has friends, family and colleagues that could also be interested in the issue. You can ask your supporters to share the action by posting an update via Your Actions on Organise.

A good aim is to contact your supporters once or even twice a week - especially at the start. By working with your supporters to grow, you can quickly go from a couple of dozen to more than a hundred supporters - and it can snowball even more.

So, any time you see a jump in signatures or participants, send an update thanking everyone for getting involved and asking them to share the campaign. Every time the issue or anything that touches on your campaign is in the news, share the article with your supporters and ask them to share again. Any time you hear back from your target, or there's a development in the campaign of any kind, let your supporters know and ask them to share again. You get the idea!

Final tips for growing your campaign

Keep going! Once is never enough when it comes to sharing your campaign. Professional advertisers reckon it takes seeing something seven times before someone will buy their product, and the same can be true for joining a campaign. So don't be worried about posting or sharing too regularly.

Think creatively and take every opportunity. If you see a news story that relates to your action, share a link in the comments section. If you've got a colleague working at another site, give them a goal to grow signatures at their workplace. If there's a trade magazine for your sector think about writing into the letters section.

How many signatures do petitions or other actions need?

There's no such thing as a perfect number of signatures on a petition, or votes in a snap poll - depending on your action you can have an impact with hundreds or even just dozens of supporters!

If you're working in a small organisation, having 10-20 colleagues add their name can be enough to prove to your boss that a change is needed. An Organise member set up a survey which 15 people completed, and it resulted in their CEO stepping down. Small actions can be mighty!

The important thing isn't to get worried by exact numbers, but to try and make sure as many people as possible who are impacted by the issue hear about it.

Need extra help?

If you want help with a petition, open letter, snap poll or question, just drop us a message on action@organise.network and we'd love to help. And if you're ready to start a new action on Organise, click here to get started now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roxana Khan-Williams