Community Launch Ideas: Ask the Expert

We’re excited to kick off a new blog series called ‘Ask The Expert’ featuring an expert from the Jive Community sharing on a specific hot-topic. This month we feature Community Launch Ideas from Rachel Duran, the Enterprise Community Manager at Allegis Global Solutions.

Look for key tips and tricks for:

  • Writing a community mission statement
  • How to prove business value for your forum
  • Evaluating resource needs (staffing, technology)
  • Measuring success using metrics and analytics

First and foremost, launching a community or forum requires an established purpose, and that purpose should be reflected in everything — the initial proposal, UI/UX design, and community management style. Even the most straight-forward concepts will face at least one internal naysayer that doesn’t inherently understand how online communities support the organization’s goals. Or worse, your user base will flounder without a clear purpose to keep them engaged after a first visit.

The best idea when launching a community is to write up a clear, concise community mission statement before getting started with any proposals or requirements gathering. Here are some questions your mission statement should answer:

Who is your target audience?

“Employees” won’t fit the bill for this FAQ. Is your internal audience the entire enterprise of employees, or will it focus on a subset? If it’s a varied group, how will each of those groups be engaged in a way that works for them?

What problem is this community solving?

Change is hard! (I think I use that line in every community management blog I’ve ever written). What is it about this community that is going to ignite passion for an evolution in communication within your organization?

What business goal and/or principle is this community helping to achieve?

We all have a set of principles, pillars, standards, or whatever your brand opts to call them. Your internal community should fit into one or more of these categories. If the alignment to a company principle isn’t obvious, be sure to make that connection as clear as possible without being too wordy.

To find out what other ideas Rachel had about launching an online community, read this Ask-the-Expert blog post in our community forum.

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