You don’t need approval to get started on building your company’s online community. You can start right now (after reading this blog post).
You can start building relationships with bloggers. Comment on their blogs, send them e-mails when they write great posts. Offer ideas for future posts (they’re always welcome). Introduce them to people are your company they would love to meet.
You can start researching what content is popular and what the dicey issues are.
You can tag a bunch of important articles.
You can work out who really has influence in your community. Who’s the top dog? What made them so great?
You can build a good blogroll of top influencers and know precisely what people are interested in at any given time.
You can research your intended audience. How many blog? How computer literate are these people? Does everyone have a Facebook profile? Is anyone on Twitter?
You can work out which journalists your audience admires, and which they hate.
You can check out your competition. What are they doing? Who’s participating in their communities? Who can you pinch? What are your benchmarks?
You can build a communications channel via Twitter/Facebook/e-mail of people who want to know the second your community is launched.
You can find out what people are saying your industry, or your competitors, or even yourself.
You can ask people for advice about what you think their client should do to reach people like them.
There is plenty to be doing. Don’t worry so much if the management shoot the project down. You’ve just pulled way ahead of anyone else in the organisation.