A new way to protest
Protesting and signing petitions is nothing new. But the way we are doing it is changing.
The online petition has become the way to go. The old fashioned paper petitions are going the way of the eight-track, album, tape cassette or VCR.
We've seen what happened with Chick-fil-A. UPS stopped giving money to the Boy Scouts because of an online petition. There’s on online petition against Target making employees work on Thanksgiving Day.
These petitions are everywhere on the web. Allan Webber of Altimeter explained why we're seeing this explosion.
“It’s now it’s actually an access point that doesn’t require a high level of engagement that people can actually go out there and reach,” he told KTRH.
In other words, it’s easier to fire up a petition online than to stand on a corner with a paper and pen asking people to sign and support your cause.
And as we’ve seen, they are having an impact. Perryman Group President Ray Perryman says businesses are taking them seriously.
“These things can spread so quickly,” he explained.
Perryman said that the explosion of viral petitions will lead to more companies thinking hard about whether or not they want to engage in social debate.
“If companies choose to bring some sort of political agenda into their business, they can expect some backlash from it. That’s something they need to evaluate and think about,” Perryman said.
Webber says Perryman’s advice is something companies should take to heart.
“What these petitions do is blow out the issue. It makes the issue not so much a private issue but a public issue,” Webber said.
These petitions are easy to start to. You can start one on Facebook, or even go to the site Change.org.