The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established Regulations.gov in January 2003 in order to provide public access to federal regulatory content. The public can submit a comment on a regulation or on another comment. Salsa Engage developed regulation comment forms in order to...
- Create and publish advocacy action pages that post your supporters' comments as public submissions on regulations via Regulations.gov.
- Take advantage of electronic submission of comments to advance advocacy campaigns, while also capturing supporter data for future segmentation and engagement.
NOTE: Regulations.gov and the Federal government cannot verify and are not responsible for the accuracy or authenticity of the data or analyses derived from the data after the data has been retrieved from Regulations.gov.
Step 1: The Basics
To start a new Regulation Comment Form...
- Click Activities from the left navigation menu.
- Select the Targeted Actions tab.
- Click the Start an Activity button to the right of the window.
- Select the Regulation Comment Form link.
- The Make Your Selection tab is selected by default. This is the first step for any new Activity. Choose a starting point to create the new Activity. You can copy an existing form, select from a library of shared content to use as a template, or start fresh from a layout. See Make Your Selection for more information.
- Click the Next» button in the lower right-hand corner to advance to the Basics step.
- The Basics tab is selected by default. The second step in the creation of any Activity enables you to add Basics information, such as a name and description for the given Activity. See Activity 'Basics' for more information.
- Click the Next» button in the lower right-hand corner to advance to the Documents step.
Step 2: Documents
Using a Regulation Comment Form, your supporters can submit a comment to a federal agency Document (either a Notice, Proposed Rule, or Rule) that is open for comment. These comments will be submitted to the Regulations.gov platform, as though your supporter had commented directly through the Regulations.gov website. The supporter's demographic information and the comment will be stored in Engage to grow your list and increase your engagement.
To locate the Notice, Proposed Rule, or Rule Document that your form will be targeting...
- Navigate to Regulations.gov.
- Search for the Document that you would like to target, using the provided search criteria and filters.
- Once you have located a Document, copy the URL or the Document ID and paste it into the search box in Engage. Make sure to copy the Document ID, not the Docket ID. If you are on the Docket page, then select one of the "Primary Documents" from the list.
- Engage will search the Regulations.gov database and present the details of the relevant Document. Make sure that the details match the document that you intend to target and click Select This Document.
- If the Document details do not match, double check the URL that was pasted and repeat the search. Once a Regulation Comment Form has received at least one form submission, the target Document cannot be changed.
Choose whether or not to include a link to external resources on your Regulation Comment Form. This link will be presented on the public page and open in a new tab for your supporters to reference. It might be a good idea to include this link, if you would like to give your supporters more context for their comments. Alternatively, you can omit this link, so that supporters have fewer distractions on the comment submission page.
- Click the Next» button in the lower right-hand corner to advance to the Comment Contents step.
Step 3: Default Comment Content
If you wish, you can add default content that will be prefilled in the comment box when the supporters visit the Regulation Comment Form. You may want to allow supporters to edit the default content to add their own stories, or you can choose that they cannot edit the content so that a bulk quantity of the same comment is delivered. In either case, it is a good idea to include coaching and talking points to a text element on the activity form.
Step 4: Compose: Create the Form
It's time to compose your form! When composing, you can drag and drop the building blocks of your form into the basic layout you chose. These building blocks include content sections, buttons, images, and more. We load your default color scheme into the template—but feel free to mix it up! See New Activities: Compose for detailed information.
One of the elements for this activity is the Document Summary element. It provides details about the selected Regulations.gov Document for your supporters' reference. If you wish to change the information that is displayed on the page, simply delete this element and replace it with a Text element.
In order to submit your supporters' comments appropriately, Engage requires the following fields:
- First Name
- Last Name
- ZIP Code
You may not remove these fields from the form, but you may add any other fields that you would like.
Once the comment period for a Document has closed, your supporters will be presented with the Comments Closed page. Make sure to edit this page with appropriate links and actions that your supporters may take to support your organization in other ways.
Regulations.gov may or may not publish comments submitted through Salsa Engage or the Regulations.gov website. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency makes that decision, and Salsa does not have any control over this process.
To view the content of each regulation comment that was submitted, navigate to the Results tab, and click the button to Download Details as CSV.
See New Activities: Compose for detailed information on composing your comment form.
When you are done with this step, click Next >> to set up Autoresponders.
Step 5: Set Up Autoresponder
You can choose whether or not to include an Autoresponder to this form by selecting the appropriate radio button under the Autoresponders tab. Learn more about Autoresponders and how to configure them.
Step 6: Publish This Form
Click Publish This Form on the Autoresponders tab when you are ready to make your form public. Once published, Salsa Engage will provide a URL that links to the form and create widgets, as described below.
NOTE: If you change your mind and decide that you do not wish to have your form published just yet...
- Scroll down to the lower left-hand corner of the page.
- Click the cogwheel icon
- Choose the Make it Private link from the subsequent menu.
Widgets for External Webpages
After you publish, Salsa Engage generates widget code that enables you to...
- Add a button to your website that links to your form by copying the code and adding it to any web page where you want this button to be displayed.
- Embed the form itself in your website by copying the code and adding it to any web page where you want this form to be displayed.
NOTE: You'll probably need admin level access to your website to use this widget code. Click here for more information.
Once your page has been active, and you've gotten the word out to your supporters alerting them to your Targeted Message(s), you can start keeping track of how the message is performing.
Click Next: Results». The "Here's how your targeted action performed" page will appear. To the right, you'll see a date filter. Updating these values will filter the data for every report on this page. The default date range for the insights presented on this page is the last 30 days.
See Performance Statistics for Actions and Messages for detailed information.
NOTE: It is up to the agency in question to review the comments or act on them, such as publishing the comments.