Petitions usually take the form of a 'we the undersigned' protest, support or pledge to boycott. Petitions can be a simple way to garner support, but will never be as effective as a well thought out letter writing campaign.

Head each sheet with an explanation of why the petition is necessary, who it is aimed at, and who you, the organising group, are.

Circulate as many sheets as possible. 500 sheets with two or three signatures each will look better than 50 full sheets.

Give a few sheets to each campaign member, and post copies online so that people can print a copy out.

  • Word the petition so that the maximum number of people can sign it.
  • Put a return address on petition sheets.
  • Don't let people sign it twice, if you can help it (this undermines its credibility).
  • Petitions can take time to grow. Do not try and organise them in time for impossible deadlines.
  • Put a cut-off date on the petition and ask everyone to return their sheets in time.
  • Make copies of the signed petitions before presenting them.
  • You can also make online petitions, either through your own website, or through Petition Online or similar websites.
  • Presenting the petition to the council or a company can be another excuse for a photo call or press stunt.
  • Check council rules on petitions. A minimum number of signatories may secure a council debate or even an opportunity for your group to make a presentation to the council.