Identify your target
- This is the program, company or organization that you would like to see change what they are doing or take some action, which entirely depends on what the campaign is for. A target could range from a media corporation to a particular school or the government. In some cases, it could have multiple targets.
- If budget cuts are threatening your music program, your petition may be directed to your school board as well as City Hall and/or the Mayor of your town/city.
Write the Petition
- Be concise while including all the important information. Make sure it is just a paragraph or two because attention spans are short! A good petition should quickly describe the situation for those who aren't totally aware and serve as a reminder for those already informed. It should suggest what is needed and who needs it and conclude with why.
- Include a few strong facts about music education. Create a bulleted list because it makes things easy and quick to read.
- There are some regulations that come with making a petition which may influence whether you want to do a local, county or even state level petition. Call your local government (think Town or City Hall) and ask for the exact set of guidelines and regulations before you begin. Learn what kind of information you need, how many signatures to aim for, and whether your petition needs approval before it even begins to circulate.
- If you're doing a paper petition, have copies of the petition summary and information for everyone who might be interested. Also, have paper and pens available for the signatures you wish to collect. Your signature page should have some columns, which you can add using a pen and ruler or have it printed with columns. These will usually include things like the name, address, phone number and of course the signature. (Provide plenty of space for the address because this is usually the longest category.)
- Number the pages and make photocopies of them whenever you can so you have back up copies of your petition if something were to happen.
- Depending on the kind of petition, the people who sign may have to be eligible registered voters, so keep this in mind when looking for people to sign on.
Online or Offline?
- Nowadays, there are many online petitions. There is a different set of rules if you want them to be taken seriously, so these should be read through carefully. The rules will affect the way you present a petition and the kinds of information you need from the signers. The exact rules and regulations for legitimate petitions vary from state to state and country to country. To view some of them, you can visit: Go Petition, Petition Online, I Petitions, Petition Spot .
- Online petitions do have their advantages though, the most important one being how much easier it is to access people. That’s why online petitions are becoming increasingly popular.
- Offline petitions require a lot of legwork. For a paper petition, recruit a team to help you collect signatures. Also, create a plan that will include a list of high traffic areas you can hit and the dates and times you will be stationed at these various places.
- Those who sign a petition are usually required to leave some sort of personal information, to ensure that their signature and their opinion are legitimate. You should ensure that their personal information will not be shared with any third parties.
- Click here to check out some successful petitions that you could use as examples for your own.