How to Create a Petition | Guides — (2023)

Creating a quality petition gives you the best chance of making the change you want. By including a catchy headline and eye-catching image, and choosing yours carefullydecision makerand with a strong narrative, you can create a petition that creates and wins support for your cause.

start petition

What is a petition?

A petition is a written document making a change or request to an authority figure. Collecting multiple signatures from different people shows the level of support for your cause.

The basic process of creating a petition includes:

  • Write a message and ask what change you would like to see and why

  • Election of the Petitioner

  • Ask others to sign your petition

  • Delivery of the request to the addressee

Choose your topic

The first step in creating a petition is to choose a topic that is meaningful to you. If you don't already have a specific action in mind, start by thinking about your general interests, e.g. B. animal welfare. Then think about how to narrow your problem down to a specific action item.

Make a plan not only for what you would like to see, but also how you will achieve that goal and how you will measure your success. The more detail, the better: you want to grab your readers' attention and convince them to sign your petition.

By choosing a compelling topic with clear steps, prepare yourself for a successful petition campaign that will get many signatures.

write your title

Your headline is your first chance to get readers excited about your petition and make it clear what change you want.

Name specific places, organizations, or people

Potential supporters want to know if this petition is relevant to them or their community. Mentioning the affected community or groups will attract attention. Be careful using CAPITAL LETTERS or additional punctuation marks (!!!) which can be construed as a sensational headline and may be unattractive to potential followers.

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Start with an action verb

Readers want to know exactly what change you want to make so they can decide whether to sign your petition. Your headline is where you can focus on the solution. Common action words for petitions are "stop, save, ban, lend, oppose, add, initiate."

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use a hook

Grab people's attention by making your headline emotional and compelling. Make it clear who is affected and why you care. If your request contains important dates or time constraints, please include that information as well.

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Choose your decision maker

A decision maker is a person in a position of authority who is able to help bring about the desired change. This can be a politician, influencer or businessman. Once you've defined a specific goal for your petition, you can choose who that person (or people) should be. For example, elected officials can help with legal issues, while a business leader can help bring about change in the private sector.

Gather information about the selected decision maker to be included in the petition. By providing an email address for the right decision makers, you can let them know about your petition and give readers confidence that your petition can win.

Choose people, not a group or organization

Unlike an organization, you can hold people accountable directly. Make your decision maker the person or people within an organization who are responsible for your solution or who you need to convince. Example: "Mayor Jane Smith" instead of "Springfield City Government".

Choose a person directly responsible

It's better to focus on the people who can get you what you want rather than the biggest public figures. A directly responsible person can make a decision and implement your solution faster. They are also more sensitive to public pressure because they are not used to it.

add your email will automatically notify your decision maker when a petition is created and when it receives signatures. It is therefore important to enter the correct email address. To find it you can:

  • Use web searches and review PDF documents such as conference presentations or meeting papers.

  • Use company email convention and experiment with variations. For example, to contact Tallah Smith, you can try contacting,,, The email that doesn't come back is correct!

  • Call and ask!

tell your story

Storytelling is at the heart of a successful petition. It's helpful to include facts, statistics, and quotes, but also consider sharing the experience of someone who helps people connect emotionally to your cause. Consider your choice of words and tone in relation to your audience. For example, you can reach out to parents if your petition focuses on a cause like maternal health or early childhood education. Think about your values ​​and priorities and how they relate to the problem you are hoping to solve.

You can also insert a video to grab your audience's attention. And you don't have to spend tons of resources to tell a good story. With a cell phone camera and free video editing software, you can convey your own passion and inspire others to think the same way you do.

Watch this video to learn how to tell a great story and get your followers to act:

How to make a video about your petition

Describe who is affected

In the body of the petition, describe how people are specifically affected by the issue. If necessary, use a personal story. The characters drive the story through their actions, and we recognize when they are actively searching for solutions.

Video example: The characters in the video are Jordan and his mother Laura.

goals and obstacles

Make it clear what your characters want for the future and what obstacles stand in their way. We are interested in characters who strive to achieve something, even if it is difficult for them.

Video example: Jordan's goal is to become a firefighter. The obstacle is the FDA's try-right barring legislation.


Explain what it means when things change or stay the same. What do we expect from the story and what do we fear? The higher and more specific the stake, the more compelling the story, so make it clear what happens when you win and what happens when you lose.

Video example: If Laura loses, Jordan's life could be cut short and thousands of patients could miss treatments. If he won, Jordan's life could get better and thousands of patients would receive treatments.

Explain why now is the right time to act.

Summarize and emphasize the importance of immediate action. Connect your call to action with outreach to the people in your personal story and the community at large. If you have a vote, appointment, or meeting coming up, provide those details and encourage your supporters to join you in the mobilization in ways other than signing your petition. This could include contacting lawmakers, writing letters, participating in peaceful protests, or funding grassroots organisers.

Choose an image or add a video

Along with your headline, your image or video is the first thing readers see. Your image or video is also the image that will appear when people share your petition on social media. Here are some tips on what to try and what to avoid.

show emotions

A great photo captures the emotion of your request and tells a story in no time. Close-ups of people or animals showing positive or negative emotions work well. Here is an example of two images used for the same request:Stop starting a local dog factory

The first image generated more signatures than the second image because it is simple, close and emotional.

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Best performing image

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picture original

Keep the composition simple with strong color contrast.

Busy images with too much detail can be overwhelming and easily overlooked. Stick to images that are simple, to the point, and show contrasting colors. Here is an example of two images used for the same request:Reduce fuel tax by at least 30%.

The first image generated more signatures than the second image because it is simple, title-specific, and has high color contrast.

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Best performing image

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picture original

Avoid images with text

It might seem counterintuitive, but images with logos, text, and graphics work less well than images without them. Request creators who don't have an image often create one. Most of the time, a stock image generates more signatures than an image with text. This is one of the most common mistakes we see!

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Best performing image

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picture original

Avoid busy images

Avoid creating collages with multiple images. Instead, add multiple individual images to the request. Busy images distract the reader instead of focusing on important details. Here is an example of the request:Introduce deaf awareness training for all teachers

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Best performing image

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picture original

Use pictures of public figures or local landmarks

If your petition is company specific or directed at a company or public figure, please include it in your image. They are likely to be easily recognizable and, along with a unique title of the request, provide additional context.

Buy photos online

The best photo is the one you have. But if you don't have a photo, you can search on sites likeFlickrÖGoogle Images. Use the advanced search options to find full-size images that the creator has authorized for reuse.

Be sure to look for photos that are tagged with a Creative Commons license. This means it's free and doesn't violate copyright laws. Most stock photography websites provide details on whether an image is licensed for reuse. Try to upload photos that are 1600 x 900 pixels or larger so they look good on all screen sizes.


Petitions are one of the most powerful and effective tools of democratized activism. It can be intimidating or daunting to think about writing a petition, but the steps are clear and simple. start today. We're here to help you on your journey to inspiring the change you want to see in the world.

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