There are any number of things you can do to make your campaign effective, but when you get right down to it, the two things that will make the biggest difference are getting more people to sign your petition — and delivering your petition in person.
The more signers you have, the more public support you demonstrate for your campaign. It's as simple as that.
Delivering your petition in person is a great way to make sure your petition gets noticed as much as possible. You might get to meet with your target, and discuss your campaign. It's an excellent chance to earn media coverage for your petition, which can get the attention of both new potential signers and your target(s). We'll deliver your signatures automatically via email—unless you tell us not to—but also doing an in-person delivery can really be an effective tool to strengthen your campaign and make it stand out.
The best way to grow your petition is to simply ask as many people to sign as possible. You might be surprised about who is interested and wants to support your effort! Here are some different ways to ask lots of people to sign your petition quickly:
One of the very best ways to collect petition signatures is to simply send an email to people you know asking them to sign. And the more people you email, the more signers you'll get.
Facebook is a great way to instantly let lots of people know about your petition. And then your friends can share it with their friends with a single click, too. You can also post updates on your petition's progress for people who may have missed it the first time. You can send individual messages to friends through Facebook, share it with groups, or post it on pages relevant to your issue. You can get started posting to Facebook right from within MoveOn's petition website—just click on "Manage Petitions" from the top of this page and then on the "Share" button next to your petition.
By sending your supporters regular updates, you can keep them engaged and motivate them to do more to help. You can write updates about the number of petition signatures you've collected, political developments on your campaign, or general news about the issue your petition addresses.
Twitter messages can only include 140 characters, so you'll need to summarize your petition in just a few words. Use relevant hashtags (#) and the user names of people with a large following to maximize the attention you get. Retweet your petition regularly for people who missed it the first time. Click here for more tips on using Twitter to promote your petition. Just like Facebook, you can get started posting to Twitter by clicking on "Manage Petitions" at the top of this page and then clicking the "Share" button next to the petition you want to promote.
Popular blogs and news sites can get tens of thousands of readers or more a day, and posting your petition in the comments of relevant blogs is a great way to reach a lot of people quickly.
Other organizations can help you collect a lot of signatures by sharing the petition with their email lists. Look for relevant groups online and call them on the phone to ask them to help out. Usually, you'll have more luck getting groups to pitch in after your petition has gotten going a little.
Are you on any email discussion lists for your church, union, school, hobby groups, or trade or professional associations? If your petition is relevant, share it with the other folks on your group's email discussion Listserv.
Do you use IM regularly? Add a link to your petition in your chat status. Add a link to your petition in your email signature. All you have to gain is more visibility.Back to top
Once you've finished collecting petition signatures, the next step is to actually deliver them in person to whomever your petition is addressed. Here are tips on delivering your petition:
To download a PDF of your petition to print and deliver, log in using your email and MoveOn Petitions password and click the "Print" button next to the petition you would like to print. You will then have the option of either printing your entire petition in one document or splitting your petition into multiple documents sorted by state, district, or number of signatures—to make large files more manageable. Choose one option, and then click "Download Petition." we will then send you an email with a link to download your petition as a PDF file. Your PDF will also appear on your Dashboard.
Delivery Option 1: Pre-Arranged Meeting
There's often no substitute for sitting down and having a conversation with the person you're trying to persuade with your petition. By organizing a meeting, you can present your concerns in greater detail and engage in a back-and-forth discussion about possible solutions. And you'll be 100% sure that they saw the petition!
Delivery Option 2: Organize a News Conference or Rally
If your petition is large enough, it may be of interest to the media. You can organize a news conference to draw attention to the delivery of your petition. How big does a petition have to be to merit media attention? That depends. If your petition is addressed to the mayor of a city of 250,000 people, then signatures from 1,000 residents may be enough to get noticed. But if you're petitioning President Obama, you will probably need millions of signatures to draw the media's attention.
Delivery Option 3:
Bird-dogging Your Target
If you can't get a meeting and your target doesn't have regular office hours, you can try to approach your target at a public event or fundraiser. You can try to pull your target aside for a private conversation or you can use a public comment period to draw attention to your petition.
For an in-depth guide on bird-dogging: click here.
Delivery Option 4: Simple Drop-Off
It's far more effective to deliver your petition with either a pre-arranged meeting or news event, but if you can't do either of those things (either because the target is too far away, or because you are unable to secure a meeting), the next best option is to drop it off at their office. At the very least, you should email a copy of your petition signatures along with a personalized note.
Unless you get a concrete response to your petition when you deliver it, you'll want to follow up with your target via an additional call or meeting. You also may find that additional campaign strategies and tactics are needed to win your campaign. For more guidance, check out this link on how to engage your petition signers.
Yes, MoveOn does deliver constituent signatures for approved petitions by email to the President, governors, Congress, and state legislators unless you set auto-delivery to "off." MoveOn will also deliver signatures via email to custom targets (i.e. targets you enter manually such as CEOs, local officials, etc.) if a valid email address is provided at the time you create your petition. You may turn off auto-delivery at any time. However, whether or not MoveOn delivers your petition signatures electronically, we strongly recommend that you deliver your petition in person to have the maximum impact and ensure that it is seen by your target.
If your petition is targeted at President Obama or the entire U.S. Congress, consider delivering your petition in person to your local U.S. representative or U.S. Senators at their district offices. If your petition is targeted at your entire state legislature, consider delivering your petition in person to your local state representatives. Alternatively, you can email your petition signers and ask them to help you deliver the petition in person.Back to top
If you want even more information on ways to make your campaign more effective, here are some additional resources: