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Once a user has created a petition, they'll gain access to a variety of tools aimed at helping them run an effective campaign. Unless your organization has pre-moderation enabled, campaign creators will be able to begin using the creator tools as soon as the petition is launched. This allows petition creators to respond quickly to emerging issues, though the petition still requires admin approval for full visibility.
When the petition is first launched, the petition creator will see the "Just Launched" view of their petition. This view allows the petition creator to see the various tools that will be available to them in the petition creator toolbar, but also prompts them to immediately begin sharing their petition on social media.
The sharing options visible to petition creators will depend on what device they're using (mobile vs. desktop) and which social sharing platforms the organization has enabled.
While in this view, and whenever this petition creator returns to the petition page (by clicking the down arrow next to their name > My Campaigns > name of the campaign), they'll see their petition creator's toolbar.
The options available in the petition creator toolbar will vary based on the organization's settings, the size of the campaign, its moderation status, and whether the campaign is included in an effort. (Please note: the text shown in the toolbar is can be customized and/or translated by org admins. The text shown on your organization's platform may not match the default text used in this article.)
The first option in the toolbar is Campaign Page. This is the default page that the petition creator will see when navigating to their petition. It's also the public page that signers and other site visitors are able to see. For petition creators tools, there are two items of note on the main page: updates and contact message.
- At the bottom of the petition page, is an Updates Section. This section automatically updates as signature goals are reached and will be automatically updated if the petition is marked as a success. The petition creator (and site admins) can also add their own updates: giving site visitors insights into the campaign's progress, next steps, etc.
- The Contact Messages feature allows members of the public to contact the petition creator to offer support, ask questions, etc. This feature can also be used to allow journalists to contact the petition creator with media requests.
If needed, the petition creator can disable the contact messages tab from their Settings page.
Within ControlShift, each petition has its own mailing list, which is made of up of petition signers. (Depending on your organization's email opt-in settings all signers may be automatically opted into the campaigns mailing list or the mailing list may include only those users who specifically opted in.)
One of the main tools in the petition creator's toolbox is the ability to contact their supporters to provide updates about the campaign's progress, build momentum, and keep their supporters engaged. This tool is available for all petition that are moderated above Suppressed, and petition creators can get started by click the Email Supporters button in the petition creator toolbar.
On this page, the petition creator can draft a new message to their supporters. Customizable templates are included at the bottom of the page to help petition creators get started. Petition creators are limited to three emails per week per campaign, and all petition creator emails must be approved by moderators before being sent to supporters.
Collect Signatures on Paper
The next tool available to petition creators is the ability to Collect Signatures on Paper. This tool allows your petition creators to take their campaigns offline and into their community. In particular, we've seen that local campaigns can get a great boost when campaigners bring them to PTA meetings, farmers markets, local libraries, etc. On this page, you organization can provide custom tips and messaging for your petition creators.
When the petition creator clicks the Printable Blank Form button, we'll generate a PDF that they can use to collect in-person signatures. The petition creator can then return to offline signatures page to enter those signatures. Offline signers will be treated the same as online signers and will be subscribed to updates about the campaign (depending on your organization's email opt-in rules).
The Edit Petition option allows campaign creators to edit their petition's text if needed. This view includes the basic fields used for petition creation, as well as new fields allowing creators to share their plans for delivering their petition and link to their campaign's Facebook page and/or external campaign site.
If they choose to include links to external sites, the links will be shown below the social sharing and category information blocks on the petition's signature page.
Edits to a petition are made live automatically, but all changes are sent to the moderation queue for admin approval. Additionally, for petitions that have more than 100 signatures at the time of editing, the petition creator will be asked to explain why they are editing the text of the petition. This reason for editing and the proposed changes will be sent to the moderation queue. Organization administrators are then able to review the changes and can approve or deny them.
When a petition is moderated to good or awesome and has at least 100 signatures, the petition creator will have the option of organizing a petition event. Petition events can take many forms: they might be planning sessions, offline signature collection drives, in-person deliveries, etc. The petition creator can tailor their events to those that will move their campaign forward. After petition creators organize an event, it'll go to the moderation queue for approval. If approved, invitations to the event can be shown to previous and new signers. More information about petition events is available.
If the petition is part of an Effort, petition creators will see a training tab. The content included on that page can be customized at the Effort level, and can include specific requirements for leading a petition that's part of the national or international campaign.
Various options are included in the Settings page:
- Set Short URL allows petition creators to set an alternate web address for their petition. By default, the URL for petitions includes the full title of the petition. However, a shorter URL can be useful if the petition creator is including the URL of the petition in written materials. Keep in mind that this will not change the default URL of the petition, the short URL will merely redirect to the original URL. The short URL can only be set once.
- The Invite New Petition Administrator button allows petition creators (and org admins) to invite other users to help run the campaign. These users are given access to all of the petition creator tools.
- The Messages from Supporters toggle controls whether petition visitors can email the campaign creator by clicking the envelope next to the petition creator's name on the petition signature page.
- Additional Signature Fields shows the menu of pre-defined custom fields that are available to petition creators, and whether they've been added to the signature form.
- The Embed Petition section is currently only available to organization administrators, not petition creators. By expanding the section, you can generate a script that allows the petition signature form to be embedded into an external site. Signatures that are generated through this form are added to the petition's signature total and signers are redirected to the CSL instance after adding their signature. This feature is beyond the scope of our basic tutorial, but we have documentation on this feature included in this help center.
- If needed, petition creators can Hide Petition from public view. The campaign will then be accessible to only the petition creator and other admins. Hidden petitions can be made visible again at any time.
- When petition creators believe that their campaign is over, they can click to End Campaign. They are then prompted to explain whether the campaign was won or lost and what happened that led to them ending their campaign. Ended petitions can still collect signatures, though certain other features are disabled. We'll cover ended petitions when we look at moderation.
After clicking to Deliver Petition, creators can download a pdf of their petition, which includes the who and what fields of the petition, as well as the names (as determined by your organization's privacy settings) and postcodes of signers. Depending on the settings your organization has chosen, petition creators may also be able to download a CSV of petition signers. This CSV will not include the who or what sections of the petition text, but will have the names, phone numbers (optionally), and postcodes of signers, as well as their reasons for signing (which we'll look at later).
At the bottom of each petition's signature page, there's an additional petition creator tool: a timeline of updates.
This timeline is automatically updated as the petition reaches new signature targets (10 signatures, 25 signatures, etc.). Petition creators can also add updates to the timeline to keep their supporters informed of the progress of their campaign. Links to various types of media, included images, pdfs, and videos can be embedded.
Now that we've covered the petition creator's tools, let's look at new petition moderation.