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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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