We’re excited to be taking the next step in our work supporting unions’ online campaigns this week. Our 3 year old Going to Work campaign platform is about to transform into Megaphone UK, a revitalised campaigning platform for unions.
The platform allows for unions to start and run their own petitions and email actions, with support from the TUC digital team. It’s faster and easier than before, with unions gaining greater flexibility and control of messaging.
When done well, petitions can be a really effective campaign tactic for influencing decision makers, and also for introducing unions and campaigns to members, their friends, and groups of workers are new to the union.
Megaphone UK will be maintained by the TUC and offered free to our affiliated unions. Megaphone already operates successfully in Australia, having been used by over 50 unions, with 300,000 people having taken action on the site. It is the petition platform of choice for Australian unions. By taking the step to link our two platforms, we’re going to be able to learn more about what works in union online campaigning and organising, and make our work that much more effective.
How it will work and how to get involved
Setting up a new petition on Megaphone UK is really simple. Head to https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petition/new and the platform will guide you through the process. Once you’ve written your petition and added an image, the TUC digital team will check over it and your petition can go live.
Unions can have their own page on the platform, that hosts all of the petitions they’ve run.
Megaphone is optimized for sharing on social media. A powerful story that people can engage with makes it easy for supporters to sign and share your campaign. The TUC digital team are here to answer any questions you have, and can advise how best to tell the story or reach the people you need to.
A tool for the movement, by the movement
There are lots of other platforms for running petitions, from Change.org to 38 Degrees or the Number 10 platform. But by choosing to build our campaigns together, we’ll be able to leverage the real strengths of our movement in solidarity. Supporters of each union can add their weight as allies in other workers’ campaigns, and can help spread the word much further. Unlike some platforms, the TUC won’t sell access to unions’ supporters’ data to other organisations, potentially even opponents, or host union petitions next to campaigns they would be opposed to.
Check out these first examples for some inspiration:
- Email Newsquest to support striking journalists with the NUJ
- Petition TGI Fridays to pay staff more fairly at Christmas with Unite
- Petition the responsible minister to back a pay rise for civil servants with FDA
Why not use my own petition tools?
Some unions already have capacity and the tools to run petitions, which is great. Megaphone is about getting more unions running online petitions, by offering a platform that makes it easy.
Unions who have in-house capacity to run petitions may find the platform appropriate when they’re short on time and resources or want to benefit from access to the community of Megaphone UK supporters.
We encourage unions who are unsure to try out the platform and see if it fits their needs. The technology Megaphone is built on is used by some of the best digital organisations in the world, so we’re confident you’ll find the platform useful at some point.
Who can start a petition?
Megaphone UK is available to all TUC affiliated unions, including their regions and their members directly, where campaigns are supported by the union.
We have a petition running elsewhere that we want to run on Megaphone UK.
We are always happy to mirror the petition and run it on Megaphone UK, as long as it meets our community and solidarity guidelines.
We’re interested, but don’t have a campaign or petition we think could work at the moment.
No problem, keep Megaphone UK in mind when you do. We are also able to talk with unions about the types of campaigns and issues where a petition is appropriate.
Email Anthony Hayes, Digital Campaigner at email@example.com