In the hours after April Jones went missing, a national Child Rescue Alert was issued. The system is intended to help coordinate police, the media and the public.
This carried critical information about April on television and radio. It asked for anyone who may have seen a girl matching her description to call a dedicated number connected straight to the control room.
A similar system, pioneered in the United States, is used in European countries.
The Child Rescue Alert helped spread the news of the search quickly - but Dyfed Powys Police stress they needed to make sure they needed to make sure they had appropriate logistics in place before issuing the alert.
Catherine Meyer, from PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together), says the response in the first hours after a child’s disappearance are crucial.
Social media became an effective tool in the hunt for April. It was the first place information started circulating before the police had even issued the official alert. The details regarding her disappearance quickly passed around networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.