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Do Online Petitions Really Work?

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You can't go a day on social media without seeing some sort of online petition that is shared by your friends or family. Maybe you're one of those people who constantly signs them. But do they really work? In short...yes.

But don't waste your time signing faulty or ineffective petitions. Successful petitions always contain a very specific target and has a clear subject. For example, a successful petition might target a specific city mayor and the subject may be something like "Build new streetlights on Elm Street". An example of an unsuccessful and meaningless petition might have a more broad target such as "cell phone companies" and the subject may be something along the lines of "Lower your prices".

However, if the petition has a clear subject that targets a specific entity, it has a high probability to be successful. Change.org, a leading online petition site says "What if your company received thousands of emails from valued customers asking you to use a different supplier for your parts? What if you started to receive emails from each of your neighbors asking you to stop playing loud music at night? How quickly would you act?

That’s the unique thing about creating an online petition on Change.org. Governments, companies and individuals value their reputations and feel accountable to their neighbors, constituents and customers. When hundreds or even thousands of people raise their voices about an issue they care about, the message is very hard to ignore."

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