Award Winning

Best use of Branded Podcast 2022 – The Missing Podcast

Client: Missing People UK / Locate International
Award: Best use of Branded Podcast 2022
the missing podcast

Brief 

More than 100,000 people are missing at any one time around the world. 

In Britain alone, someone is reported missing EVERY NINETY SECONDS. 

But while the majority are found safe and well, 1% of missing persons cases are still unsolved 12 months later. Interest in their cases is almost non existent, and Missing People UK and Locate International have struggled for years to get meaningful and active engagement for this cases, and to demonstrate they’re doing all they can for the families and loved ones desperate for answers. 

This is the podcast series all about those 1% – the long-term missing who have never been traced. 

Each episode tells the story of a missing person. 

Each episode gives a voice to a family member or loved one affected. 

And each episode gives the listener the opportunity to join the conversation and look for the clues that might give families the answers they need. 

Every case could be solved, with the listeners’ help. 

The podcast drives listeners to the website where there is additional information – CCTV images, photo-fits, maps etc – to tap into the hive mind of the public. 

The supporting socials posts are shared far and wide, further consolidating the outreach and breadth of awareness raised – both about individual cases, but also about the public’s responsibility to missing people as a whole. 

This brief was to create a call to arms for the public to join the conversation, spread awareness, and take part in real missing persons investigations. And The Missing Podcast has exceeded Locate International and Missing People UK’s expectations of 2 of 3 what could be achieved.

Solution

The concept of The Missing Podcast was to give a platform to the families of missing people, and normalise / vocalise conversations about long term missing people. 

We knew the series needed to embody compassion, sensitivity and action – the brand values of both Missing People and Locate International – whilst also being compelling enough to attract a large listenership in the crowded audio space. 

Using tropes from the true crime genre, but presenting them ethically and with purpose, we have created a series in which the central message is delivered by stealth, but impact is felt through heartfelt, well-told, emotional stories. 

Each episode has clear endorsement and contribution from a loved one or family member of a missing person. And the range of contributors and cases is diverse – all ages, races, genders, sexualities and socio-economic circumstances. 

We do no seek to sensationalise, but we do seek to make every case relatable – to increase the likelhood of direct engagement. 

We sought a host who was both populist but could add warmth and gravitas – Pandora Sykes. 

And we feel this series successfully fulfilled the original mission statement, with plenty of added value, and genuine longevity.

Results 

Across its five series, The Missing Podcast has reached over 2.5 million listeners. 

Online engagement includes over 300,000 unique visitors to The Missing Podcast Website. 

On the forum and across socials, an active community has been generated – people who engage with and spread awareness about each case featured. 

The series has become a successful and much lauded marketing tool for Locate International and Missing People UK. Traffic to their organisations / charities has increased, as has engagement with long term missing people’s cases – which was the original remit of the podcast. 

The podcast has led to reopened police investigations into specific cases – including arrests in some incidences.

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