Puerto Rican Correctional & Rehabilitation Department, Follow2UnfollowMe, Starcom MediaVest Group Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico saw 2011 as the most violent year in its history with 1,136 murders or a rate of 30.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. According to police, in 2012 that number would increase 15%. With an average of three murders per day, and 52% directly related to drug trafficking, young people were becoming more likely to fall into a life of crime. To stop this, a combination of confrontation, information and communication is needed to reach at-risk youngsters. With an 80% penetration among 12-24 year olds, Twitter was the best bet to reach them.

Starcom MediaVest Puerto Rico created FOLLOW2UNFOLLOWME, the first Twitter campaign that uses real tweets from inmates as a crime deterrent. By providing internet access through smartphones, inmates set up Twitter accounts and tweeted their day-to-day jail experiences. The emotionally-charged content opened up the eyes of young adults. The inmate’s Twitter accounts received thousands of followers immediately after launch with $0 of media investment. Aside from garnering tremendous worldwide PR, young people started to see a new future for themselves.