Attention and reach: with videos, photos, celebrities and offline events
Video: Something that always works well are short videos in which affected people explain why and how important the cause is to them. On Social Media such as Instagram or Facebook people share and click videos very frequently. Also, sharepics are really useful for spreading your petition. To create good posts, you require good material.
Shoot a short video with your smartphone or camcorder (in horizontal format) presenting affected people and supporters. Let’s assume, your petition is about the logging of a forest. In your video, runners, dog owners and foresters could briefly explain why the possible logging would be bad and why the petition should be signed. A teaser or image video should not be longer than 1:30 minutes, but can as well be around 30 seconds long. Most people don’t watch longer videos entirely and for spreading it via social media it’s effective to keep it as short as possible.
For your video, just like for your petition, it’s important to choose an attention-grabbing title, ideally “#Petition – title of your petition”. Also the description on youtube or facebook should be brief and concise. 2-3 sentences explaining the situation and linking your petition are more than enough. Pay attention at choosing appropriate tags which are search engine compliant.
Also, pay attention to good sound quality, the people filmed should be as close to the microphone as possible and interfering noise should be avoided. When people give statements, you should film them close to their faces. Showing only the eyes and nose is counterproductive, showing the whole body as well. Focus on using moving images – they make the video more alive.
Send your video to us before publishing it! In case you don’t have experience cutting videos, you can send us single snippets and we cut your video with Adobe Premiere for you. In case you want to cut it yourself, we happily give you feedback and upload your video to our YouTube channel in case you don’t have your own.
- free video cutting programmes are Windows Movie Maker or iMovie
- Add subtitles, so people can watch your video without sound (many people turn off the automatic sound reproduction when they are outside the house)
- Add music to your video, e.g. piano music. A good example of a successful teaser video is the petition “Stop the deportation of our classmate Abdulsami Naderi”. The video is 2:30 long, but many people get a chance to speak.
OpenPetition supported the commitment of the initiators and shared their video on its facebook channel. Afterwards, the petitioners sent the facebook post including the video to supporters and asked them to share it. What a great opportunity to spread the petition! The same tactic was chosen by a petitioner who is the mother of a deaf son to spread her petition “Implement sign language! Bilingual, bimodal, finally normal!”.
Sharepic: A sharepic is a picture which is created to be shared and spread as quickly as possible, meaning it needs to draw attention immediately and have a clear and simple statement. Sometimes it is enough to set a loud colour as the background colour and to put a bold font. Ideally, the cause which you are fighting for gets recognised, meaning the people affected are still in the picture. A sharepic only contains the most important information.
Organisations & associations: Include organisations, associations and authorities which potentially support your cause. If your petition is in favour of animal welfare, send an email to animal welfare organisations and ask them for support. These stakeholders might be active in the social media as well, so ask them if it’s og to tag them.
Celebrities & experts: Try to get in touch with prominent personalities and convince them of your cause. If you already know that Campino from “Die toten Hosen” or the actor Til Schweiger advocate refugee rights it makes sense to contact them via social media and ask them to share and sign your petition or to tag it in a post. The same applies to representatives of politics. Search for delegates’ or local politicians’ email addresses, inform them about your petition and ask them to share it.
Activities offline: In order to get your petition in the public eye you must generate attention. You can get creative and invent your own form of protest. A few things are tried and tested:
- information evenings and town meetings: make contact, inform the neighborhood, find partners
- charity concerts: collect donations and host a nice event for supporters
- demonstrations at an important place: Generate attention for the issue and show importance for your cause
- offline collection and info stand: This is a openPetition special feature: you have the opportunity to collect signatures online and offline! This way you can reach both internet-oriented people but establish a cross-generational project.
- banner advertisement along streets