Bridging Two Worlds

A conversation about online media and what it means to your organization

E-petitions as a Communications Tool?

Posted by B2W on January 21, 2009

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies

I came across this item on through a friend. It is about e-petitions and their effectiveness or lack thereof.  

I have worked on campaigns that involved traditional petitions in the past and have never really seen them meet the desired objectives. I gather from this article that e-petitions are pretty much the same. However, as this article notes, people like the opportunity to easily sign a petition. They feel good that they have participated in something meaningful. It might not get the intended action, but I think that it does help to better inform interested individuals about a specific issue. It is an interesting thought and I see this as a tool to help educate and inform – and that is definitely positive.

The article also has a reference and link to slacktivism, which is basically a term used to describe the approach of wanting an easy way to participate. That makes me wonder if e-petitions have a useful role in informing people about an issue and then perhaps you could take it a step further and see if once they signed the petition, if they would do a little more – if you made it easy for them. An example might be having them send a personal letter or email to a government official or signing up for future e-newsletters. If they believed enough to sign a petition, surely they would want to stay informed on the issue. 


One Response to “E-petitions as a Communications Tool?”

  1. Tzaddi said

    I ignore any of the petitions that come in the form of “add your name to this email, then forward” etc. But I do pay attention to some of the ones organized by great activist organizations.

    I’ve been really impressed with the work is doing in this space. I think that’s because they take real-life tangible actions with the member’s voiced opinions, then let us know what they’ve done. The feedback loop letting you know your voice has had an impact is so important in inspiring participation.

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