Many big companies make grand announcements for their online communities months in advance. It’s going to be great, they say. Everyone will join.
This is dumb.
You want to start small. You want to keep expectations realistic, especially within your own organisation. You want members to feel a part of something special.
Launching isn’t about saying what you’re going to do. It’s going down to the ground and doing it without making a fuss. Now if you fail, it’s easy to start again. It’s much harder to try again (or change your strategy) once you’ve made a big announcement.
If you’re going to issue a press release, do it for your 10,000th member, or the group that travelled from 4 different continents to meet.