The charity anticipates that searching for missing people in the UK will increasingly move online, as communities look to Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about lost people, rather than traditional posters and milk carton campaigns.
Missing People has rolled out two sub brands: Missing Rights, its campaigning voice for those affected when people go missing and Join the Search, the charity’s call to action to encourage volunteers to look for missing people, in order to make its website a more engaging visitor experience.
Join the Search is intended to be built into a large scale online community of individuals, community groups and brands who can help look for missing people by downloading posters, donating to the appeal and sharing campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Ross Miller, director of supporters and communication, says: “Missing People’s digital strategy supports our belief that all action comes from building a relationship. The high interest in our cause means we have a large prospective audience, and the charity has the credentials to provide safe ways to search.”
Missing People is increasing its presence at a local level by recruiting regional “family representatives” – families of missing people who have a volunteer ambassador role – to help raise awareness and funds for campaigns.
Family representatives will be encouraged to blog, upload videos and contribute to the soon-to-be-launched forums on the site.
The digital revamp, engineered by Alienation Digital, is in preparation for the launch of 116 000, the new free phone number to call when someone goes missing, which will roll out UK-wide under the Missing People banner in 2012.