THE 14TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARDS

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Dateline NBC's 'One in a Million'

Entered in Contest or Promotion

About this entry

At 7:40 p.m. on May 11, 2014, Dateline NBC hit one million "likes" on Facebook. We know the time, because many of us were on multiple devices hitting refresh to capture the moment.

As it became clear that the program would soon reach that milestone, Dateline's social team began to brainstorm ways to thank our loyal viewers for the dedication that helped get us there. The result was our 'One in a Million' contest, announced the day after we reached the million mark. We launched the contest with a short and fun video created by the team. All contestants had to do was tell us why they deserved to be the one fan to represent our million followers. The winner would receive a three-day, all-expense-paid trip to see what happens at 30 Rock behind the scenes of Dateline.

More than 800 entries flooded in – rap videos, haikus, photographs – and the winner, selected by our expert panel of judges, was Kim Trimble. Kim (a regular on Facebook) and one guest –were flown to New York City to meet our staff and spend time with Lester Holt, Andrea Canning, Keith Morrison, and Josh Mankiewicz. We arranged a series of activities and outings, culminating with a social media event during Dateline's Friday broadcast. This video captures some of the fun the winners and our staff had together: Dateline video with Lester.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

The concept behind Dateline's 'One in a Million' contest can be boiled down to one word: gratitude. We simply wanted to thank our fans for taking us from 500,000 "likes" on Facebook in January, 2014 to a million "likes" four months later. It meant a lot to us and we wanted to do something that meant a lot to them. We wanted to create a contest that would be easy and fun for our fans to enter, and a fantastic experience for the lucky winner.

An organic sense of silly infused everything we did. We launched the contest on our Facebook page with a creative and lively video, featuring members of our staff (including our attorney and the head of our standards department).

The rules were wide open and inclusive. Anyone could enter via Facebook and have a chance to be selected the winner. Making the contest entries public allowed viewers not only to voice why they thought they should be the one fan to represent the million, but allowed comments in support of those who entered. Some users encouraged their friends to enter by sharing the call-to-action post.

We also wanted to have fun picking the winner and make everyone involved at Dateline feel as if they played a part in the selection. Once entries were closed, they were narrowed to 40. Then, the members of our small digital team were asked to pick their 10 favorites. The top 10 among those were then offered to everyone who participated in the video to pick their three favorites. The five most popular were then submitted to the senior staff of the broadcast. Each senior picked their two favorites. The winner, by popular vote? Kim Trimble, who dubbed herself "Kim in a Million."

In July 2014, Kim and a guest -- she chose Denise Hunnings, another die-hard Dateline fan she met through social media -- were flown to New York City for an all-expense-paid trip three day trip.. The entire Dateline team greeted them on their arrival to the offices. They met with members of the staff, and spent time with Dateline's host, Lester Holt, correspondent Andrea Canning along with correspondents Keith Morrison and Josh Mankiewicz who both flew in from California for the occasion.

The lucky fans attended a Dateline softball game and Late Night with Seth Meyers, participated in a story meeting, a Dateline taping with Lester, and concluded the trip with a dinner with the senior staff, followed by a watch party with a larger group of staff members. Oh, and we sent them home with some Dateline goodies.

The contest reinforced the connection between fans and the show, and deepened the sense of our social community among our Facebook fans. Everyone on the Facebook page was thrilled with Kim's adventure and felt they were living vicariously through her experience. Maybe, when we hit two million, it will be their chance.

Dateline's "One In A Million" contest was just one example of the way we approach our extraordinary social community: our guiding principle is that every follower counts and every story matters.

We hope you'll agree that Dateline's "One In A Million" contest is worthy of a Shorty Award for 2014.

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Entrant Company / Organization Name

Dateline NBC

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