A lost and found notice in a newspaper serves just that purpose - informs people about something you may have lost or found. Usually, a lost and found notice is put in the classified section of a newspaper. However, in case it’s a missing person report, it is given a space in the mains section of the newspaper, but we will come to that later.
Talking of lost and found announcements in newspapers, your message should be short, to the point and easily readable to be of benefit to you. Sometimes, people use abbreviations that are hard to comprehend, while at other times, people fail to use common abbreviations, which push up the cost for advertising in the newspaper concerned. A sample lost and found announcement in a newspaper could be as follows:- (please note the abbreviations used)
I lost a black document folder containing the foll: X marksheet, XII marksheet, resume, photocopy of Pan Card. If found, contact Mob:9810xxxxxx, firstname.lastname@example.org, JP Green, Gurgaon. XXX Batra.
Note the use of foll instead of following and the use of roman numerals instead of tenth and twelfth. Thus, we saved on the space and the word count without compromising on the details. Also note that we haven’t mentioned the name at the starting of the announcement, because as it is, we would be putting the name in the contact details.
Sometimes, a lot more details would be required to make the lost and found announcement in a newspaper effective. For example- the announcement for a lost agreement should ideally contain agreement number, the name on the agreement and what is the agreement about.
For booking a lost and found announcement in a newspaper like Times of India, Hindustan Times or other leading national or local newspapers, you are required to produce an FIR of the same along with an identity proof.
There is another category of lost and found announcements in newspapers and that’s the missing person announcement. Unlike the lost and found items’ announcements, missing person announcements are booked in the mains section of the newspaper. For a missing person announcement, the most important aspect is the photograph.
While booking a missing person announcement in a newspaper, make sure you give the most recent photograph of the concerned person. A colored photograph is any day better than a black and white one, as it’s easy to memorize. After all, we live in a colored world, not a black and white one, right?
Apart from that, make sure that you give a close-up of the concerned person rather than a full length photo. Usually, passport sized photographs which are of high quality are the best options when booking a missing person announcement in a newspaper.
Other than photo, make sure you put the following details as accurately as possible in the announcement:
The height of the person
The body type (thin, well built, overweight, average)
Clothes he was wearing when he was last seen (the color and the type of clothes)
Location where he was last seen
The contact information of the person to be contacted if found
For most of these cases, a copy of FIR is needed by the publication like Times of India, Hindustan Times and others. It is just a formality but is necessary to carry out Lost and Found advertisements in newspaper.