Present 4 Month Plan for this Launch. State goals, why it is important to the plan and assumptions you are making.

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Present 4 Month Plan for this Launch. State goals, why it is important to the plan and assumptions you are making.

Post by Admin on Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:45 pm

1. First and foremost, you need to figure out if a forum can help with your engagement or communications plan goals. If, for example, you’ve realized that many of your members or supporters are having lively discussions via support channels or email, you might want to create a forum to move the conversations over to your own website. If you are hosting, actively participate and even moderating a lively forum, this will be perceived as a valuable member service. Like any communications channel, be sure to establish clear and measurable objectives before you get started.

Do you have the resources?
Another key consideration is whether you have the resources available to create and maintain a forum. There are two types of forums:

moderated forums where posts are submitted through and approved by a moderator (or administrator)
non-moderated forums, where visitors post messages directly
Obviously one requires much less admin time than the other. However, since this forum will reside on your website, you’ll want to have someone monitoring the forum regularly to remove inappropriate messages and ensure all is running smoothly.

There are administrative options you could consider, such as having one volunteer or Communications Chairperson or even a group that could act as “community moderators” starting online dialogue and monitoring discussions. You may want to have some volunteers and staff participating actively in the conversation, especially when you first start your forum to get conversations going. Just be sure that someone is monitoring the forum to ensure that any questions are answered and comments are addressed.

- Set Kickoff meeting
-Agree on monthly objectives

-Detailed Req.
-Hardware / Software Req.
-Final Resource Plan
-Staffing [ Moderator / Admin]

-Technical Req.
-UI Client

-System Testing

Month 1:


Validating the organizations compatibility for specific forum software or add on. The forum pages can be made accessible to the public, or hidden and restricted to specific groups of users. I would recommend members to subscribe by email to discussion forums or specific forum topics and to automatically receive email notifications about new posts. Also existing customers can access user forum directly from Alation software or via zen desk support portal.

Goals: Establish integration plan for user forum access. Access to forum via ticketing system and Alation site.

Month 2:

Establishing Forum Policies

Establish clear policies and make sure the rules of use are clear to all visitors/users of the forum. Creating a “terms of use” or “forum rules” document that new visitors are asked to review. This will outline Alation's guidelines on what you will or will not accept in postings on your forum. In addition, will need to establish clear direction on process to follow regarding problem postings. For instance, an Alation moderators will need to remove or modify a post in the user forum, a notice will be posted to alert community as to why this action was taken.

Month 3

Forum Management

Forum moderator/ Admin will need to initiate conversations and encourage participation to build a robust online community through your forum.

Will need to have the moderator or admin identify topics to engage members and get the forum started. Utilizing reoccurring support questions will serve as great topics for the forum community. Also linking members with new resources, research, and helpful articles will also increase engagement in the user forum.

Promotion / Launch:

After the system testing of the new user forum it will need to be promoted. Ways to promote the forum are:

Alation Home Page – customers and visitors need to be able to easily find the forum.
Alation Newsletter if any – remind members that they can ask questions or comment on an article through the forum and be sure to offer a clear URL or online link so they can find it quickly.
In targeted emails –add footer for forum information


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