With the advent of websites like change.org and avaaz, petitioning a government or local authority is just not the same anymore. But before these “petition platforms” actually came into being, a lot of campaigners and activists used blogs to publicize their demands and give exposure to their campaigns. It is a widely debated topic on whether petitioning through change.org is more effective as a persuasion tool or does a blog pack a bigger punch. We think that a blog may have more of an impact. Here’s why.
A website or WordPress blog is more formal and more professional when it comes to trying to drive change. The setting up of a dedicated blog or website for your cause, shows people that you are more serious about it and have actually invested your time and money in it. The website or blog is scalable and can have different sections for different targets of your campaign. You can have a section for visitors from the Government, showing them empirical evidence of the need for change or have a simple explanation of the solution for the layman.
The website allows you to give your own contact details and description which will allow visitors to contact you directly. You can setup sub-campaigns or link to other campaigns in that area. You can also automate posts and pages to appear on a specific date or at a specific time coinciding with some event or anniversary. This adds greater impact and allows you to keep your website at the top of search results.
Petition platforms allow you to regularly update your petition and inform co-signatories about important updates and news. In your own blog you can add relevant RSS feeds to your blog pages and allow visitors to see real time updates from various other related sources.
Not all people maybe comfortable in putting their signatures on an unknown third party website. They would be more comfortable putting their signature on your own website, if you are directly connected with the cause. Eg: A petition on saving animals will have greater impact if it is made by a local NGO who is working in that field.
Having your own website or blog allows you to directly interact with your supporters, without going through a third party who maybe monitoring or filtering your mails. You can always send out a newsletter or mailer through the numerous plugins available on WordPress.
Whether your petition finds success or not, you can always use your website to reactivate the campaign or for a similar campaign with a similar target. The website will always remain under your control and can be maintained as a showcase for future generations. Your website could also help persons in a similar situation, to follow the same model and use your experience to go about dealing with government authorities for their own campaigns.
Whether you choose to use a petition platform or start your own blog, keep in mind that effective communication comes with a clear thinking process. Plan in advance before submitting your petition. Do a bit of research on similar success stories or failures.
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