You know your issue is important – so why aren’t other people getting behind your petition? There are two key rules in getting people to join you:
1. Figure out who your key supporters are.
2. Go to them
Figuring out who your key supporters are :
Your key supporters are the individuals or group who are most likely to support your issue.
In order to figure out who they are you need to first think about who your issue effects. For example if your campaign is about chemicals in toys then you might like to target mothers, if it’s about the Tasmanian forests – you’d want to target people in Tasmanian or people who care about saving the forest.
The key here is to be specific! If you don’t identify your key supporters, you’re like a photographer who’s randomly pointing their camera anywhere and hoping to capture something special. The more targeted and specific you are about your supporters, the better outcomes you’ll have.
Go to where they are.
Where are some of the online and offline places where your key supporters are likely to hang out? If you’re targeting mothers – then think about mummy blogs, women’s magazines and mother’s groups.
Here are some concrete things you can do to reach out to people who are already interested in your issue:
Has anyone create a facebook group around this issue already?
Chances are they have. If so, get in touch with the group creator and ask if they can send your petition link around the group – you can also post the petition on the group’s wall.
Comment on news articles:
Find the news articles that are relevant to your campaign and comment on them with a link to your petition.
There is etiquette to this tactic though – don’t just advertise, that’s considered rude. Try to post a thoughtful comment and respond to other users of the blog. The key here is respect – if others have created forums, make sure you’re engaging in them the way they are meant to be used. Use your real name.
Research the online space – are the any bloggers that talk about your issue? They can be a great way to amplify your message. Why not get in touch and ask them to post about your issue? You can even write an article and ask to submit to them as a guest blogger.
Find offline groups
Where do your supporters hang out in the real world? Are they at the local farmers market, or at mothers groups? Would you be more likely to find them on city streets, or in the suburbs? Get in touch with groups and see if they will spread the word about your petition.
You can also ask to set up a stall at local events, print a blank copy of your petitions and collect real signatures and then upload them into the database.
Create your own media:
Write about your issue, get friends to review your work and then submit it to online magazines such as New Matilda, The Punch and Crikey to help get people talking about your petition.