We can help you to understand when and how publicity is done for a missing person.

About publicity

We’ve been supporting family members with creating, managing, maintaining and removing publicity for decades. We also support those who are missing and have seen their publicity. We know how important it can be, to feel as though your local community or wider, is listening and helping you to find your loved one, whilst also taking care of yourself and those around you, including the missing person. We also know how important it is to balance the needs of the missing person with wanting to feel like you’re doing everything possible to find them.

What to do for the best will be a very personal thing, so although we have lots of suggestions and advice, make sure you do what you think is best. If you’re not sure what that is, our free, confidential Helpline team are on hand to help you work through your options.

When  someone you know goes missing, it can be the beginning of an emotional rollercoaster. You could be feeling all sorts of emotions right now, including sadness, loss, guilt or anger. You might move quickly from one emotion to another, or have lots of feelings at once, leaving you feeling confused and emotionally vulnerable.

We are here to try and help you and your family make sense of your feelings. Whatever you are feeling right now, you’re not alone. We are here to support you today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes, until your loved one has returned.

We’re here to support you, for free and in confidence. Call or text 116 000.

Talk to us

Next steps

Keep a record of important things

Create a file for important documents and reference numbers and keep it somewhere safe. This could be in a document on your computer, or a note pad by the phone.

Think about what publicity is right

The right kind of publicity depends on your person, and you know them best. Listen to your gut, and to others who know them. And, of course, speak to us if you’re not sure what to do.

Know what you are consenting to

It’s your right to understand what you are consenting to. It is okay to ask for things to be explained in a way that works for you; in writing, a phone call, different languages, via text or social media.

Create an appeal

Once you’re ready to go ahead with publicity, get in touch with us to talk through what options you think would be most suitable. And have a look at our tips on what you can do to create your own appeals, or how to make the most of ours.

Keep the publicity going

Whatever things you decided on day one, these may not be right at day ten or beyond. It’s worth checking if there’s anything new you could try, or perhaps extend the networks you are using.

Helpful Guides

If you have seen your own details on a missing person appeal, it is because there are people searching for you, and want to know that you are safe. Find out what you can do next.

Police and your family may have created appeals to help find you. Now that you’re back, you might find this intrusive or feel like it’s hard to move on. Find out what you can do to get this content removed.

Read more about our publicity opportunities that we may be able to offer you to help with the search.

Once someone has been found, it’s important to withdraw publicity as quickly as possible. Read our guidance on how to do this quickly and thoroughly.

Running your own social media pages or accounts to highlight that your loved one is missing can be a really effective way of getting people engaged, and give you space to tell your story. Read our tips on how to do this.

Sometimes people remain missing for longer than a few days or weeks. And it can feel as though your situation is no longer interesting to local news outlets or online groups. Follow our tips on how to keep people interested.

Using journalists and reporters to share your missing person’s appeal far and wide can be effective. Read our guidance on how to do this, and how to prepare for interviews.

If your person has been missing a number of years, find out how you could update the appeal with a new image to show what they might look like now.

Other helpful stuff