Signatures collected. What’s next?

a) Submit, submit, submit!

 

The collection period is over, you have put all your efforts into the process and want to get the most out of the collected signatures. You shouldn’t let too much time pass – it doesn’t matter if you have reached your collection target (or openPetition quorum in Germany and Austria) or not – submit them!

Submitting means two things: First of all, it’s a symbolic submission to a decision-maker; and additionally it’s the official submission to the petitions committee of the respective political level. If your petition is addressing a private recipient (economical or cultural), you only submit the petition to a decision-maker. If your petition is directed towards a political institution, you should definitely do both!

Submission to the petitions committee:

Submit your cause again as a petition to the respective parliament. Fill in the necessary paperwork (online or by regular post) and reference openPetition stating the number of signatures.

Important:

  • If the recipient is a political actor, you should always address the petitions committee. This is possible online, via mail or email.
  • It’s best to inform yourself during the collection period how the petition can be submitted legally binding.
  • You can submit your petition before, during or after the official submission in a media-effective event to other decision-makers.
  • At the same time, you can offer to submit the lists of signatures either digitally as a PDF or CSV file or printed out on paper.

b) Submission as an event

The submission of your petition should not go unnoticed, but be a media-effective event which draws all attention to your cause and puts pressure on political decision-makers.

Schedule an appointment: Ask beforehand for an appointment for the submission, politicians generally have busy schedules, so plan a few weeks ahead. If the recipient denies an appointment, suggest another one and ask deputies, a spokesperson or the head of a department if necessary. Before the submission fails, it’s better to ask a different suitable person.

Submission in person: When the recipient of your petition is confronted directly with your demands, invite all supporters to come along!

Invite the press: For the press, appointments with politicians and company CEOs are interesting, if they see themselves confronted with delicate issues. Invite journalists and photographers a few days in advance and briefly state what is going to happen and if there will be a photo scene. Send them the link for your petition.

 

Petition: For the right of private collection Photo: Maurizio Gambarini; Copyright: Ursula Kampmann

 

Stage the submission for the press: If you offer a good photo scene, the press will be more interested in your story. TV channels don’t send camera teams when there’s nothing to see. Here are a few suggestions:

  • print signature lists and submit them as a “book” or even in several cartons which you impressively pile up
  • make a poster with your demands, the petition photo and the number of signatures.
  • appointment with the recipient which you take the press to

Write a press release: Report about the submission, the demands, the number of supporters and which steps you will take next. The press release should be sent out in the early afternoon in order to be published the next day. Definitely name a contact person with a phone number, you might have to give an interview! Advice on press releases.

And if nobody wants to receive your petition? Make the best out of the situation. Company CEOs, which deny an appointment for a submission, are interesting for the press because of their denial. Still submit the signatures! You could rent a room in the town hall or a representative space in front of the company’s headquarter and submit the signatures to an empty chair – this puts an emphasis on the company neglecting your submission and puts pressure on decision-makers. Invite the press and photographers.

Inform your supporters: Share with your supporters that you have submitted the petition and inform them about what will happen next. People who have signed for your cause want to know how the petition turned out – it’s their petition, too. Write a blog entry on your petition’s page and send an update via email. Also, change the status of your petition.

Keep going! Keep working on your cause, also after the submission! Stay in touch with your supporters, the recipients and the press!

c) Keep supporters updated

With regular updates on the blog about the petition you can keep all your supporters updated, publish events and communicate progress or success of your petition! This function is also available for petitions which have been closed for not longer than one year.

Submission of petition: Lawsuit of the government of Rhineland-Palatinate against Cattenom and Tihange to Malu Dreyer

 

Back to Advice on how to create a successful petition on openPetition.

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