Tips and tricks for successful campaigns

On this page we have compiled tips for successful campaigns. Here you will find information on the following topics:

      1. Start a petition
      2. Spread the petition and collect signatures
      3. Keep supporters up to date and involve them in your campaign
      4. Press work and actions
      5. Handing over signatures
      6. What do I do if the recipient of my petition does not respond?

1. Start petition

An ACT petition is online with just a few clicks:

1. Enter the text of your petition as well as the recipient(s) and a short explanation


2. You can then check your text and - if you wish - edit.

3. If you are satisfied, you can publish your petition with one click. Immediately after publishing, your petition will be online and you can start circulating it!

Note on publishing your petition: After you have created your petition, it will first be reviewed and moderated by our ACT team. During this phase, it can only be found via the exact link you receive. This means that you have time to check and make sure that your petition is exactly as you want it to be. If you would like us to wait to publish it until you give us your final OK, just send us an email to [email protected] and we will consider your request.

Here are a few more tips on how best to formulate your petition:

The title of the petition summarises in a few words what you want to achieve. Keep the title as short and descriptive as possible. It is the first thing people will see about your petition.

The recipient of the petition is the person who has the power to fulfil your demands. This may or may not be the person who formally decides on your request. Perhaps there is a person who is also involved in the decision or can veto it and is more open to your arguments? If possible, only contact one or individual, specific people - general addressees such as "the Federal Council" are not very useful, as no one will feel responsible in the end.

Your demand describes what you want to achieve with your petition. It is best to formulate your demand briefly as a letter to the recipient of your petition (e.g. "Dear Head of Social Affairs, campaign for more subsidised crèche places in Geneva!"). The more specific your demand, the better.

Describe the problem and why the issue is important in a short justification. Here you can provide arguments and, for example, link to websites with further information or newspaper articles on the topic. Write in such a way that even people who don't know the topic understand your concern. Imagine, for example, that you are describing your concerns to a friend. You can also write about what motivated you personally to start the petition. Don't write a novel, but concentrate on the most important arguments and facts.

Experience shows that it is better to add sources to lend credibility to the information in the petition. This also helps people who want to sign to inform themselves about a particular issue. Therefore, please add reliable sources in the footer of the petition.

In addition, you can add an image to your petition (preferably in the dimensions 725 x 300 pixels). This will make your petition much more visible when it is shared on Facebook, for example. The easiest way is to use your own photo. If you want to use a photo from the internet, you ll need to make sure that it is licence-free or under a CreativeCommons licence (CC licence) and may be used further. Here you can find a list of databases that you can search for images and content with a CC licence.

Here you can find a sample petition with more tips & tricks!

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2. Spread the petition and collect signatures

Once your petition is online, the next step is to collect as many signatures as possible. It's not always the absolute number of signatures that counts: depending on the topic, even 300 signatures can be enough to attract attention, for example for a local petition on a problem in your neighbourhood.

Here are a few tips on how you can spread the word about your petition:


Send an email to friends, family and acquaintances and ask them to sign and share your petition. The more people you write to, the better. You will be surprised how many people will be interested in your topic.


Facebook is an easy and quick way to inform many people about your petition. With a single click, people can share and spread the word about your campaign. With a post on Facebook, you set off a snowball effect: for every person who clicks on "Share", an average of 100 people will see your campaign.

You can also ask friends and acquaintances to sign and share your petition with a personal Facebook message, or share the petition in groups or on pages that might be interested in your topic. Post regular updates about your petition on your Facebook page to keep your friends in the loop (and reach people who may have missed the previous posts). You can easily share your petition by clicking on the Facebook button on your petition page or in the Manage section.

X (Twitter)

Share your petition on Twitter. You can get to the heart of your campaign in 140 characters. Twitter is fast-moving, so tweet the link to your petition more often. Even small pieces of information are always worth a Twitter message. Use hashtags - a # sign in front of a word that is used in discussions about your topic or related topics.

Email to signatories

If you have already collected a few signatures, you can email these people and ask them to spread the word about the petition. You can send messages to your supporters directly via ACT in the "Email supporters" section. There you will also find templates that you can customise and use.

Comment in online newspaper

Post the link to your petition in a comment under related news or blog posts - news and blogs are sometimes very widely read, so you can reach many people through them.


Please initiatives or organisations that work on your or a similar topic to spread your petition, for example on their Facebook pages, homepage or via their newsletter.

Offline dissemination

In addition to the many ways to circulate your petition online, you can also collect signatures "offline". You can download, print and reproduce a form via the menu item "Collect - Download form" in the administration area of your petition. You can then collect signatures from friends and acquaintances, for example, or display lists in your hallway, at the sports club or in the supermarket - you're sure to think of suitable places!

You can also collect signatures at markets and busy squares, organise an information stand or distribute the lists to other groups working on your topic. Once you have collected a few signatures on paper, you can add them to your online collection via a web form in the Manage section of your petition.

Important: Since ACT counts signatures via the email address, this information is required so that the signatures can be added to the online collection.

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3. Keep supporters up to date and involve them in your campaign

Send the supporters of your petition regular messages with updates - this way you keep interest in your campaign alive and people are more motivated to get involved in your campaign. For example, you can provide information about signatures already obtained, report on political developments or invite people to take action. You can send messages directly via in the "Send message" section. There you will also find templates that you can customise and use.

Many things work better in a team than alone. Why not invite the signatories of your petition to a planning meeting and discuss the next steps of your campaign together? This can be done on site, but also virtually, for example via Skype or GoogleHangout. For example, you can organise an information stand to collect more signatures, organise a media-effective action or plan the handover of the signatures together.

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4. Press work and campaigns

Local newspapers in particular are always interested in stories from the region - regardless of whether your campaign is about a local, regional or national topic. Contact the editors of your local or regional newspaper and tell them about your cause. What motivates you and your supporters?

You can also send a letter to the editor and ask for it to be printed. Letters to the editor are most likely to be printed if they refer to a specific, current article in the newspaper, are written vividly and vividly and are pointed but politely worded.

Publicity campaigns are a good way to publicise your campaign. If you are planning an action or handing over signatures, you should always inform the press so that they can report on it. Important: Campaigns and information stands must be registered in advance with the relevant authorities.

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5. Hand over signatures

Once you have collected a few signatures, you should contact the recipient of your petition and ask for an appointment to hand over your signatures. You decide when the right time is right for a handover - for example, when a certain number of signatures has been reached or when a decision on your petition is imminent. In the Manage section of your petition, you can download and print out a list of signatures with the names and postcodes of the supporters.

As a general rule, a personal handover leaves a deeper impression and you usually have more time to explain your concerns and present your demands. Inform the supporters of your petition of the date by email and invite them to come along too. The more committed people who turn up, the better!

A signature handover doesn't have to be a dry event. You can be as creative as you like! For example, paint a banner, come up with an action picture with costumes, or display the number of signatures in an oversized way. This also makes it more attractive for newspapers to report on the handover.

Contact the local or interested press a few days before the event and tell them about your petition and the handover. Explain why you have started the petition and invite the press to report on the handover. A report in a newspaper draws attention to your campaign - and increases the pressure on the recipient of your petition.

Send out a press release on the day of the handover in which you provide information about the successful handover.

Name a contact person who members of the press can contact if they have any questions.

Capture the successful handover in photos. Upload them to a photo gallery - and don't forget to tell the supporters of your petition about the handover afterwards.

If you live too far away, for example, or are unable to deliver your petition in person for other reasons, you can also send the petition and the collected signatures by email. Send the recipient an email from your personal email account and attach the petition PDF. If you do not receive a reply, you can follow up by phone. Take the opportunity to present your demands and reasons in person!

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6. What do I do if the recipient of my petition does not respond?

Even if it can be frustrating: Stay tuned! Inform the press with a message about the refusal to accept your signatures. Now more than ever, mobilise more supporters so that your campaign continues to grow. Approach initiatives or groups working on your or a similar issue and forge a campaign alliance. Organise a joint public protest outside the office of the recipient of your petition and get your demands into the media. This additional pressure can often make a big difference.

Good luck with your campaign!

Are you still missing information, do you have any questions? Send an e-mail to [email protected] wissen.

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