After creating a petition, the next step is to promote your petition, spread awareness and collect signatures. Remember, 250 signatures are needed for your petition to be considered by the Petitions Committee.
Here are a few suggestions of how to raise awareness and make the difference you are petitioning for.
Word of mouth
Tell your family and friends about your cause and how their signatures can help support you. Explain the significance of your petition, the potential outcomes and benefits.
Providing this information will give them a good understanding of the purpose of your petition which can start a ‘snowball effect’; they can then share the message confidently with friends, who can share the message to others and so on.
Make the most of established networks, social clubs or groups such as, church, union meetings, a local history or an environmental group, where people are likely to share similar interests in the topic of your petition. This can be a great way to reach a group of people at the same time. Large organisations and charities may also support the petition if it is relevant to the work they do too e.g a petition calling for environmental awareness may contact Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB etc.
Social media is ever changing and there are always new, engaging ways you can use to promote your petition on a digital platform. This may also be the most effective way of reaching a wider audience as it can reach people across the country who are passionate about the same topics as you.
Here are a few examples of how this can be done:
- Email/text message your petition – Send out text messages or emails to your contacts explaining your petition and provide the link that can be followed through. Organisations may have an emailing list where the email can be sent out to all contacts related to the organisation. The Senedd Petitions website also includes a button to easily share the petition eg via WhatsApp.
- Create hashtags – Twitter and Instagram use a ‘hashtag’ feature which allows supporters to follow and stay updated on the campaign. This feature can also be used to easily identify individuals who are actively speaking about the topic and to encourage engagement. Create a hashtag to directly link your posts with the campaign making it accessible to find all related content in one place. You could also search for existing established hashtags related to your topic and add your content to this for more exposure.
e.g #EndometriosisAwareness and #WaterSafety are hashtags used by petitioners.
- Create short concise videos relating to your petition – Bite-sized videos that are 10-15 seconds long are more likely to capture the audience’s attention. So, if videography and editing skills are your thing, then social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram may be your best friend!
- Reach out to social media influencers – If there are any individuals with a social media presence interested in the topic you are petitioning for, perhaps contact them to see if they may support your cause and share it with their large audience. This can be via a post, an Instagram ‘story’ or even a retweet of your own tweet.
- Use a URL shortener – condense your link into shorter characters so you can keep the link accessible in places such as you social profile ‘bio’, in the comments section of related videos, threads of blogposts and in tweets where characters are limited.
- Join online forums/groups/conversations – online conversations are a great way to directly share information and petition links e.g if your petition is related to an issue in your area, a message in the local Facebook group may spark others to take action and sign your petition.
- SHARE! – encourage everyone to like, share, comment, post, retweet, reblog and anything else possible to spread awareness!
Social media is one of the most effective ways to get word of your petition out. A great example of a successful petitioner who used this effectively is Beth Hales, petitioner raising awareness for Endometriosis.
“The methods I found most useful in promoting my petition were as follows:
Communication - I started talking about the petition topic with family, friends, colleagues, etc. to raise awareness, explain why the petition was so important and to help find other people with an interest in the topic who would be keen to sign the petition and share on within their networks and social media platforms, etc.
Twitter - I found this the most successful social media platform for generating signatures. I regularly posted the petitions link, got friends and family to do the same, and would tag people with high numbers of followers that had a shared interest with the petition topic (eg. celebrities who suffer with endometriosis) in the posts asking for a retweet. These retweets always resulted in high numbers of signatures;
Stakeholder Engagement - I built relationships with people, charities, business’ that would be able to help raise awareness about the petition and share within their networks to widen the reach of what I was able to get on my own.”
Contact local newspapers who may be willing to feature your petition and the story behind it. Not everyone uses social media, and local newspapers are a great way to reach people in your area. Writing a letter to the paper may also be a good way to bring attention to your petition.
When reaching out to local media journalists, consider if your petition has a strong local angle. If the issue has affected a certain individual, this may probe the media to conduct an interview to capture the underlying/background story and the personal first-hand experience.