Publicity – steps you can take

We know how important it is, to feel as though the world is helping you to find your loved one. Here’s our tips about how you can get more power behind your appeal.

Share the Missing People appeal

If we have published Facebook and Twitter appeals for your missing person, you can share/retweet these on your own social media platforms and ask your family and friends to do the same. To get a greater impact, and hopefully more people supporting you, add some text yourself, asking your community to help you by sharing the post. Remember you’ll need to make it a public post if you’re using Facebook, otherwise people will be unable to share it or add comments.

When sharing our appeal, if you feel comfortable to do so, you could try targeting useful agencies such as local newspapers and asking them to share it. They may then contact you and ask for a quote, or an interview. Check out our page on working with the media for tips on how to handle this.

If your loved one was a fan of a particular sports team and they have a social media account, try and engage with them and ask them to help by sharing the appeal.

Remember to share our appeals, as they have all of our helpline numbers on them and will link back to our website for people to get more information and also to verify your loved one is indeed missing, or still missing, depending on when they come across the post. This means that if your missing person is found – all of the appeals which originated from sharing our post, will be deleted. Deleting things from social media and the internet however is not instant, have a look at our pages on deleting your digital footprint for more information.

Use the posters

If we have launched a public poster campaign for your missing person, we will have sent posters to our partners in relevant areas as suggested by you and the police. We will also send you a copy via email.

The posters we send to our partners will be displayed in places like shops, libraries, and café’s. We have partners all over the UK, and our network is constantly growing, but we may not have as many as you’d like in your local area. This is where you, or perhaps a friend or family member, could help by handing out or emailing posters to places you know your loved one liked to visit such as their favourite pub or nature reserve, or places where they have lots of connections such as a town they used to live in.

It’s important to make a note of where you have displayed the poster, or who you have sent them to, this will help with removing them if your loved one is found or they need updating for any reason.

Some family members shrink the posters into A5 leaflets, and ask those supporting them to hand them out locally at places such as train stations or dropped into letterboxes. This may not always be possible for a variety of reasons, so don’t feel pressured to have a poster in every single window you pass. The level of publicity that is appropriate is different for each person, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Use your local contacts

Who do you know in the local area, or the area where you think your loved one may have gone to? Sometimes we forget that our friend in the café, may have other friends, who themselves have other friends and so on. Suddenly, they could all know your situation and be able to help with their various connections.

This of course applies to our online friends too. Whether it’s sharing your tweet, or making sure you have space to chat with a cuppa while someone else is handing out posters for you, your local contacts can make a real difference. And remember, it is not just a numbers game, you may only have one local contact, but they might have a large online reach or be well connected.

Others things to try

You could create your own Facebook Page, a website, a blog, a YouTube Channel, an Instagram account, a Twitter account – pretty much any online platform where you can share pictures and tell your story is something you could make the most of. Doing this can take a lot of work, and we would not advise someone set something up without support, whether it is a friend, family member or someone here at Missing People.


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