When severe storms struck Texas in April 2016, Team Rubicon aimed to rapidly solicit $25,000 in donations while effectively telling the story of the veterans and first responders serving those impacted by devastating floods in Houston. The organization launched Operation Moonshot (a hat tip to NASA and Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus who pledged to donate $1,000 to Team Rubicon for every home run he hits this season) and over 150 volunteers provided flood relief for approximately one month at no cost to affected residents.
In order to capture the attention and donations of supporters while much of the country looked on as flood waters in Houston receded after days of downpour, Team Rubicon quickly shifted into "story yelling" mode through the following social tactics:
Social sitrep: Team Rubicon volunteers were already responding to the earthquake in Ecuador, so they provided a timely sitrep (situational report) for social media followers to showcase the moving parts. They'd update this several times as a growing team assembled in Houston.
We'll do it live: While volunteers were on site to respond to flooding, straight-line winds tore through a small neighboring community in Tomball, TX and Team Rubicon hosted a Facebook Live event to showcase the damage and how volunteers were helping. Later, they'd show TR Nation how to tarp a roof to prevent further water damage.
Greetings, Texas: Team Rubicon introduced themselves to Houston-area Facebook users through a series of Facebook advertisements which included an opportunity to learn more and donate. Furthermore, Scopers could meet some of the team via Periscope.
Hit 'em in the feels: Once the team was in position in Texas, the storytelling rolled on. Team Rubicon shared reflections from the field via Medium and their website, like the one where Marine Corps veteran Cheryl Mann gets reacquainted with purpose through continued service with the team.
Speed it up: Team Rubicon shares the anatomy of a muck out via time lapse video at Miss Mary Ann's home in Houston and tossed an abbreviated version on Instagram. The video was also repurposed as a GIF in an operation update email to those who donated to the campaign.
Bringing comedic and flood relief: Team Rubicon's the first to say they tackle really serious work without taking themselves too seriously. Please see #OpMoonshot Exhibits A, B, & C with an emphasis on captioning photos with lyrics from classic hits like Baby Got Back and Ridin Dirty.
That's a wrap: As #OpMoonshot wrapped up, Team Rubicon shared an infographic and thanked supporters by showcasing their impact on the ground.
From April 20 - May 16, 2016:
Team Rubicon hit the donation goal for Operation Moonshot, raising $26,000.
Operation Moonshot Facebook ads generated an additional 2,000 visits to teamrubiconusa.org April 21-25 (20% of traffic during this period).
Overall website visits increased by 80% compared to previous period.
Generated 1.8 million Facebook impressions (22% increase from previous period) and 32,000 engagements (27% increase from previous period).
Gained 541 new Twitter followers (65% increase from previous period) and increased the number of Twitter engagements by 38% compared to the previous date range.
Added 335 new Instagram followers (up 36% compared to previous period) and generated 428 #OpMoonshot tags.
Ultimately, campaigns like Operation Moonshot give Team Rubicon more visibility which allows them to reach more financial supporters and prospective volunteers who wish to serve those affected by disasters. Furthermore, the communications team helps foster a growing online community of veterans who wish to continue serving after hanging up the uniform.
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