Ten keys to creating a citizens' proposal

Here's a 10-step summary of the proposal creation process and some tips on how to get your idea out to the widest possible audience. You have 12 months to get enough people to support your proposal so that it can be put to the vote.

You need to get involved to reach more people, as the platform does not broadcast any particular proposal in order to maintain its principle of neutrality.

  1. Register on the website

If this is the first time you log in, you need to sign up: enter your details and confirm your email address. If you don't receive it, check your spam folder.

To create and comment on a proposal you do not need to verify your account, but if you want to give it the first support, you do need to complete this step.

In case a collective is the author of the proposal, they can register as such.

  1. Check that the proposal is not repeated

Citizen proposals are uploaded every day, and some of them are similar to each other.

Therefore, we recommend that you do an initial search to check that someone else has not made the same proposal as you.

How to search? On the proposals website, on the right hand side, you will see that there is a search engine where you can type in the words you want to search for.

For example, "cyclists" or "housing". You can also search by category, by clicking on each label you will see the proposals on that topic.

  1. Draft your proposal

Think about the problem and the solution you want to propose, who it affects and whether we have the competence to carry out what you are proposing. Look for statistical data and/or studies to contextualise, if you think it is convenient.

Define the proposal: write down the problem and the action you are proposing in a clear and understandable way.

  1. Tips for better writing

Do not write the title of the proposal or entire sentences in capital letters. On the Internet that is considered shouting, and nobody likes to be shouted at.

Write clearly: to make it easier for everyone to understand you (bear in mind that we often read quickly on our mobile phones), use correctly constructed sentences (subject, verb, predicate) and try not to overuse the passive or subordinate sentences.

Be brief: the draft serves to develop your complete idea, but when you "clean it up" it is advisable to synthesise it so that users read your proposal in its entirety.

  1. Write your proposal

Title: write a brief but descriptive text that can be understood without having to read the whole text.

Summary of the proposal: describe in a few words what you are proposing, without repeating what you include in the developed text of the proposal.

Developed text of the proposal: here you can explain and contextualise your idea much better. Remember that the attention span of readers on the Internet is shorter, so if you can explain briefly what you want, the better. You can highlight some parts of the text with bold (without overdoing it) and if you want to list, you have the numbering and bullets tools.

  1. Complement your proposal with more information

The page allows you to attach information that enriches your proposal:

Videos: you can attach a link to YouTube or Vimeo of a video of your own or another video that illustrates your idea.

Additional documentation: you can attach your own documents that are uploaded to the internet (services such as Dropbox, Drive, a link to your own page, etc.).

Remember to mark whether it is a proposal for the whole city or for one of its districts, select the tags that help to better categorise the proposal, put your name and surname (individually or as a representative of a collective; it will not be shown publicly) and accept the privacy policy and terms of use.

  1. Dissemination: share on social networks

Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, among others, are a good way to reach more people. Use your account, your group's account or create one if you don't have one to publish content about your proposal. The more followers/friends you have, the more likely you are to spread your message.

From the web you can share it through Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) as well as through Telegram and WhatsApp if you are using your mobile phone.

Think about key messages and a hashtag: write a draft with different messages to publish on the networks and vary what you say in your publications.

If you create a hashtag, you will help to viralise the message and make it more identifiable.

Very important: always attach the link to your proposal.

Accompany your posts with photos or videos: posts with images are shared more, think about what best illustrates your proposal.

Where to find free images: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, Google Images, Pixabay, among others. Check the conditions of each image, you usually have to publish the authorship.

  1. Dissemination: share with family and friends by message or email

Your closest network of contacts is essential to start dissemination. Send them a short message to their mobile phone with the key information about your proposal and the link to the proposal (one link is better than two or three).

Consider sending an email to other contacts whose mobile phones you do not have. Repeat this operation from time to time without "spamming" so that they add their support.

  1. Dissemination: media

It is more difficult for a person or a smaller group to get their proposal noticed in the media, especially if they don't know media professionals.

Ask your network of contacts if they know journalists who report on the website so that you can get your proposal across to them. A piece of advice: make it clear, brief and direct in order to capture their attention.

  1. Dissemination: contact possible allied groups.

If your proposal is about the environment or social rights, for example, look for key groups and people working in this area to let them know about your proposal.

If they agree with what you are saying, they can help you spread the word in their networks and even become part of your campaign.

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