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The Top 7 Ways to Engage Your Petition Signers

It often takes more to win a campaign than a petition alone. Below are some additional tactics to take your campaign to the next level. Some of these tactics take a lot more work than a petition, so you’ll need to ask some of your petition signers to help out by taking on specific campaign responsibilities.

1. Email Your Petition Signers

Keep your petition signers updated on your campaign by sending them an email. Thank them for signing your petition and ask them to share your petition with their friends and family.

2. Ask Petition Signers to Call the Decision-Maker

By getting your petition signers to make a phone call as well, you can really get the attention of the person your petition is addressed to. Petition signatures show that a lot of people agree with you, but phone calls show that people feel strongly about the issue and really want to see change.

To get started, you can send an email to all your petition signers through the MoveOn petition dashboard. Ask them to call your petition target, provide a sample phone script that’s short and sweet, and be sure to include the phone number they should call. You can even ask your signers to report their calls back to you when you include a link to our call-reporting page in your email to signers. Look for the “Advanced tools” section of the email tool, then choose “Insert link to report calls.”

3. Ask Your Petition Signers to Write Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor are the most widely read section of the newspaper. To get started, you can send an email to all of your petition signers through your MoveOn petition dashboard and ask them to write letters. Make sure to give them a few points they can include in their letter, and include a link to MoveOn’s letter to the editor tool. Look for it in the “Advanced tools” section of the email tool, then choose “Insert link for letters to the editor.”

4. Ask Your Petition Signers to Help You Deliver Your Petiton

Ask your petition signers to join you when you deliver your petition in person. Click here for some delivery tips.

5. Invite Your Petition Signers to Attend a Flyering Event

Flyering is one of the most basic forms of grassroots campaign work. You simply create a small hand-out with a simple explanation of the issue and what people can do to help—often making a phone call to a decision-maker. Then, go to a place where there will be lots of people walking around and hand out your flyers and invite your signers to join you. For more guidance on organizing flyering events, click here.

6. Invite Your Petition Signers to Join You in Confronting the Decision-Maker Publicly

If you’re unable to get the decision-maker targeted by your petition to respond, you may decide that it’s time to confront them in public, so that they can’t ignore you. By recording the interaction with a digital camera or confronting them in front of a crowd of people, you can make it even more difficult for the decision-maker to dodge the issue.

You should be sure to keep your interactions respectful and only do this after you’ve tried other means to get the decision-maker’s attention. For more guidance on this tactic, sometimes called “birddogging,” click here.

7. Invite Your Petition Signers to Attend a Rally

There’s no sugar-coating it: rallies take a lot of work. In a small city, you may be able to organize an effective rally with 20-30 people. But in large cities like New York or Washington, D.C., rallies typically involve hundreds or even thousands of people. That said, if your petition has really taken off and you have a strong team of people to help, a rally can be a really powerful tactic to win a campaign. For more detailed guidance on organizing a rally, click here.

MoveOn may also be able to help you find other supporters in your area. If your petition has already taken off, and you are interested in planning a rally, email us at petitions@moveon.org.

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