Weber Shandwick Seattle recently teamed up with Team Rubicon, a veteran service organization, to raise awareness and support of Veteran Emergency Response Teams.

Team Rubicon address two crises, inadequate veteran reintegration and inadequate disaster response, by repurposing veterans’ specialized skills, such as teamwork, leadership, risk management and emergency medicine, to bridge the gap between disaster and conventional aid response. Not only does Team Rubicon repurpose veterans’ military skills sets, but it also applies lean-forward digital and social practices.

In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, co-founders Jacob Wood and William McNulty recognized a need and turned to Facebook. Facebook answered in abundance. Wood and McNulty’s friends responded to the challenge by immediately making the trek to provide emergency assistance in Haiti using their military training. The general public also answered the challenge by donating funds and sharing the ask with their friends. Thus, Team Rubicon was born.

Only two years old, Team Rubicon has it figured out—“it” being how to clearly and effectively communicate with target audiences to achieve its mission. Social media is changing the game for disaster response, and Team Rubicon has effectively engaged audiences on its consistently managed social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr. They have “it” down.

Perhaps that is social media’s true potential: It allows anyone from anywhere and with any background the ability to communicate, activate and replicate on matters important to them. Social media encourages action, one “like” at a time.

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