July 5, 2021

Proca: A Summary

Proca is a digital action toolkit for campaigners which allows campaign actions to be taken on your website. Proca Widgets can be used for actions such as signing petitions and ECIs, mail-to-target, social media campaigns and more. At the same time as taking the action, supporter sign-ups can be collected and social media sharing is integrated too, so everything happens in the same place. Proca also tracks the actions taken so that you have the data to see what works well.

Our demo video can be viewed here.

Widgets

A Proca Widget* is an app user interface which is used to enable a member of the public to take a digital campaign action. Widgets can be in any language, and an organisation can easily have multiple widgets if they want multiple languages or colour options. The complicated code is stored on our server and all the campaigner has to do is use a short piece of html code to embed the Proca Widget on their website. This means that the widget goes wherever it is wanted and can fit fairly easily into almost every website out of the box. Depending on your content management system and how it is coded, there are occasional interferences with existing themes or CSS, but we have always been able to fix these!

Features supported on Proca include: petition sign-up; official petitions such as ECI and national equivalents; social media shares; collecting supporter data; open letters; collecting donations; mail-to-target; tweet-to-target; showing campaign text or videos.

The widgets have social media share options built in, so that after a supporter is prompted to share the webpage after taking the action. The default text for the share can be customised to include hashtags, key messages, etc.

Note: Widget is a word in English for a small device ‘thing’ which is used in computing.

Coalition Campaigns

Each campaign can have as many widgets as desired. The lead organisation can invite partner organisations to join the campaign, sign up to Proca and generate their own widget. The campaign action is common to all of the widgets, so all the signatures collected are together. Each individual widget is ‘owned’ by a particular organisation, so that the widget can be branded for them and so that the organisation can collect email sign-ups alongside the campaign action. There is usually a dual/split sign-in option so that a supporter can sign up to either lead organisation and partner organisation, partner organisation only, or not sign up.

Widget Customisation

Using the Proca dashboard, Proca users can change some of the settings of their widgets: the colour, the url for their privacy policy, the sign-up text shown to supporters as their GDPR sign-up consent, the language of the widget.

New campaigns or new campaign actions have to be created by the Fix the Status Quo team. Once created, new partners and widgets within that campaign can be created. It is possible to expand an existing campaign, either by creating a new widget or by changing existing widget(s). If existing widgets are changed, such as by adding a new ‘urgent appeal’, the websites they are embedded on will automatically update to the new version with no further action needed by the users.

There is also an API for partners which gives signature numbers and can be used for signature counters, such as how many needed to a certain goal.

Data Security and GDPR

Proca is designed to be not only GDPR compliant but have a high standard of data security. When a member of the public uses the widget, there is an opt-in button for them to be receive emails from you which is accompanied by data processing consent text and a link to the privacy policy. For a coalition campaign, the supporter data is accessible only by organisations the supporter has opted into: another organisation in the coalition cannot view other organisation’s supporter data. Coalition campaigns usually also have a split consent option so that a supporter can sign up both to the lead campaign organisation’s mailing list or the partner organisation whose widget they signed.

Supporter email data is then collected by Proca and the data for supporters who have opted in can be downloaded by the campaign organisation who owns the widget. It is possible – and we encourage it – to encrypt this data (encryption at rest), meaning that even if your account or our server is compromised, there is no data breach. The encryption key is needed to access and decrypt this data.

Integration with other Petition Systems

Proca signature counters can be easily integrated with other petition systems. An “external” partner is added to the campaign and gives an “external signatures” counter, and this number is then automatically added to the total.

This can either be manually updated by the partner or, for some petition systems, we can add it so that they are automatically updated. We can already add Avaaz, Campact, speakout, Foodwatch and Umwelt Institute, and if you want us to add a new system, we can probably do that easily enough!