The Organise guide to a good petition
Starting a petition can be a great way to change something at your workplace, without giving away your identity. You can find out more about what a petition is and why it can be really useful at the bottom of the page:
If you want to try making one now, you can use the Organise petition tool using this link:
Here are some top tips:
Writing your petition - 5 top tips
Keep it short - you want people, and your employer, to read and understand it, so keep it simple and to the point. If it’s longer than a half a side of A4 then it’s probably too long.
Ask for one piece of change at a time, get to it quickly and explain why it’s important for your life. Keep things focused on what you want your employer to do, and be very clear what that thing is. If you want multiple things which work towards a final goal, maybe put them in bullet points.
Focus on the solution - not the problem: explain the steps your employer has to take to change things for the better.
Make it personal - people are more likely to support your petition if it’s clear why you care. Explain how this change will impact you, your family, or your working environment.
This one’s really important: keep it professional - you might be feeling upset or angry at your employer, and it’s fine to say in your letter that you’re feeling like that. But if you want your employer to take it seriously, make sure it is professional, and not a rant or a moan.
How to put your petition together
1. Decide on a title:
Explain the solution in as fewer words as you possibly can:
Eg. "Give *all* staff 3 months paid maternity leave" Not: "Increase the level of full time paid parental leave for women to 13 weeks for all employees"
Focus on the solution, not the problem:
"Raise the minimum wage at the warehouse to £14 an hour" Not: "Stop unfair pay levels at the warehouse"
Here’s some research from Change.Org:
The most effective first word for a petition title. It makes a huge difference, for example in the UK 'Protect' recruits 50% more supporters than 'Demand', and 'Save' recruits 95% more! Try and make the first word positive.
The most effective length for a petition title. The result may be counterintuitive to what many digital campaigners consider best practice. For example petition titles with 13 words recruit on average 300% more supporters than petitions with 4 words!
2. Choose a decision maker:
This is the person, or group of people who have the power to make your idea a reality.
3. Explain the problem you want to solve and why it is important to you:
Remember - people are more likely to support the petition if you make it clear what difference it will make to you and your life.
You can find some examples of really good petitions here:
Ending harassment at Ted Baker: https://platform.organise.org.uk/campaigns/ted-baker-petition
McDonald’s pay rise: https://platform.organise.org.uk/campaigns/mcdonalds-pay-10-an-hour
Good luck - and don’t forget to contact the Organise team if you need any advice or support. Just email email@example.com
You can have a go at starting a petition here: https://platform.organise.org.uk/surveys/start-a-petition/
But wait..what is a petition?
A petition is a formal written request, asking someone with some authority, or power, to change something. It can be addressed to a person, a company or the government, but it is shared widely, for example by being published by a group online, in a newspaper or stuck on a notice board.
Why is a petition useful?
It puts the spotlight on the person it is addressed to, and ensures lots of people see it. By making it public or widely read, it means the person you’ve sent it to has to reply, and knows that you’ll make their reply public, so it means they’re under pressure to give an honest response. It’s also a great way to get lots of your colleagues involved, and if you ask them to sign it, it also gives them an easy way to support your campaign. A petition can be anonymous too, so you don’t need to worry about getting into trouble with your employer.