Keeping the publicity going

For a variety of reasons, not every missing person gets the same level of media coverage. When someone remains missing for a longer period, it can feel difficult to ‘keep the search going’ and continue getting support from the media and your community. Here are some of our tips about things to try. Not all of them will suit everyone. Think about what is best for you and your loved one before making any decisions about further publicity. 

Online and Social Media

Create a Page or Group on social media
Have you started your own Facebook Page or Group to try and find your missing loved one? Creating groups and pages can be great ways of reaching parts of your community or the area your loved one is missing from. This is especially useful if you do not live in the area they were last seen. Members are able to share your posts, feel part of the community supporting you and trying to find your loved one. These groups can be a lot of work, so before you set it up, think about who will be able to support you with maintaining it.

Facebook Fundraisers
These can be a great way to keep the appeal going for your loved one and help to raise money for causes important to you and the missing person. Many people will share them and comment on them, pushing it higher up into their newsfeeds for their other friends and contacts to see.

Regular posts on the pages and groups
Whatever you set up, people will be following it because they care about you and your loved one and are hoping for positive news for you. Keep in touch with them regularly by creating a post, whether written, a video or something else. What regular means to you will be individual, though we would suggest adding to it at least every few weeks. Regularly also means not too much. You have a lot of things you are having to manage. Try to keep how often you post to an amount which does not negatively impact you.

Get in touch with media outlets as you reach notable timelines
Such as first week, month, year etc. This will give journalists a reason to write new articles. Including big dates can help to jog people’s memories and encourage them to share anything which is available online. If you have a Facebook Page or Group, make sure to ask journalists to include it within the article.

Write or make content for our website
Along with giving you a space to have your voice heard on our community pages, creating content for us will give you further chances to feature your loved one’s appeal online. You could then link to this content and share it on your own social media account.

Digital Search Heroes

Every week we send a link to a gallery, featuring all the new appeals that we have started publicity for in the last 7 days, to our Digital Search Heroes. This is a list of people who have signed up to help with the search by sharing our appeals. They will also receive urgent appeals of vulnerable people missing in their area.

We will also include a section in the email to mark birthdays of missing people and the day they went missing. This is to help keep the search for them going and spread awareness.

This is a great way to reach people across the UK and spread awareness of your missing person.

If you would like your missing person to feature here, please contact our our Publicity Officer, Ndella, via

Please note this is only available to missing people who feature on our website already. If we do not publicise for your missing person, but you would like them to feature, please first contact our Helpline on 116 000 and speak to our team.

Local Appeal Days

Set up an appeal day with the support from friends and family members. You can also organise a local appeal day centred near where your loved one was last seen.

  • Make flyer-sized copies of the poster we sent you or create your own flyers. You can then ask for support to hand them out to local people. You could also print larger poster-sized copies and ask local shops to display them if this hasn’t been done already. It’s also a chance to update the posters they have for any reason.
  • Contact the local police to ask if they have any PCSO or safer neighbourhood team officers who could join you on the day. Let them know it’s happening as they might have planned their own event and could work with you together.
  • Let local media know it’s happening a few days beforehand. Ask if they are able to help promote your appeal day or write an article about it afterwards. Both kinds of support could increase or reignite the interest in your loved ones’ appeal.

Refreshing the appeal

If you have any photographs of your loved one which you have not yet shared publicly, consider if you would like to share them online and with the media. Sometimes having a new photograph, or even an alternative such as them with a beard or without, can help to create more interest in the appeal. It can also jog peoples’ memories. If your loved one has been missing for a long time, consider whether or not an Age Progression is something that could be useful too.

Get Involved with campaigns

We have a successful past of working with lots of different companies, and even getting Laws made and changed. Depending on the campaign, this could give the appeal for your loved one significant reach. National media could even cover it. If this is something you’d be interested in, complete our get involved form here or speak to a member of the Helpline team.

Talk to us

Sign up to be a Digital Search Hero

We have launched a regular email so that you can be aware of new missing person appeals and share them far and wide! We are also calling on all Heroes to be the eyes and ears for Missing People on the ground. Your sighting of a missing person could make a difference in a crucial time.