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We’ve made a few changes to our EngagementHQ platform to allow clients to use the site to build petitions within their community engagement.
Our first client to make use of this is Thurrock Council in Essex in the UK. Here is their petition page which allows the community to apply to post a petition and to choose to sign any petition they wish to.
You can see that Thurrock have opted to use a ‘Petitions’ home page to set out clearly the rules governing the process and to provide a list of petitions as well as a form to apply to create a petition. Then each petition on the list takes you to a dedicated page for that petition meaning you can provide contextual information in the page.
You can see that the petition page shows the number of responses and allows community members to simply choose to participate by filling out a form.
We have conceived of a slightly different approach on our demo site. This approach has all the petitions on a single page rather than dedicating a page to each. As you can see you can apply to start a petition or scroll through petitions on the same page and sign them. This sacrifices the ability to provide deeper contextual information but keeps all the petitions in one place.
To facilitate petition pages we have made a few simple changes to our Survey tool. If you activate one of our surveys you will now find you now have and option to display the number of surveys taken and also change the ‘call to action’ to any phrase you like, using ‘take petition’ rather than ‘complete form’ or ‘take survey’ allows a simple survey to act as a petition.
This brings together all the necessary elements of a petition. You can choose whether the community should sign up to take the petition; you can choose the questions – for a petition this would usually just be name, address and perhaps some identifying information such as mobile number that allows you to verify a random selection of the submissions should you choose.
We recommend that you tell the community that you will be following up to verify a random sample of submission. This will both deter fake responses and also confers some permission for the call. Of course you will only need to do this very occasionally for petitions that get response levels that might influence decisions or trigger legislative responses. We are looking in to demand for providing a service to assist with verification of respondents so feel free to call your engagement manager to enquire about this if you want help.