Over the past few weeks, in a democratic effort to select one writer to lead the Narrator series at the Pfister Hotel, I sat with other panelists in both the Rouge Room and the Mirror Room, munching cookies, drinking coffee and thinking, thinking, thinking. I was in good company, side by side with representatives from onmilwaukee.com, Boswell Bookshop, thirdcoastdigest.com, The Business Journal and others who were also thinking, thinking, thinking. Two ladies representing the marketing end of the Marcus hotel folks, April Dart and Cassie Scrima, kept us from rioting over our choices. After all, choices are very personal. Joe Kurth, the hotel’s General Manager, was not a voter, so he sat to one side, offering a few comments to help guide us. It’s clear why he’s the GM. Calm, cool and collected is his style.
Several weeks ago, we narrowed the choices (21 applied) to six, and on October 14, we watched videos of the finalists and read their sample blogs. I hope to never hear this again….”everyone has a story to tell,” a sentence repeated over and over in the videotapes. Two previous winners of the Narrator position, Julie Ferris and Stacie Williams, were also on the panel, for who knows better than they what the six month blog job entails?
It’s more than hanging out in the lobby interviewing visitors. It’s more than posting interviews several times weekly on the Pfister blog site. It’s more than facing a video camera, and though it pays $1,000 per month, it’s certainly more than all these factors combined. The winner was the final person facing the video interviews. Clearly, it was a lock, but not until Joe Kurth unfurled his 6’6” and rose to tally the votes on a sheet of white paper. Then it was.
You may be asking, “What’s the point of a Pfister blog?” From a marketing standpoint it has great value, and the technology alone has brought the hotel into the decade determined, at least in part, by the late Steve Jobs, the chap who taught us that our fingers are made for talking. At any given moment, folks chat on cell phones, text, and seek information. Everyone has a story to tell. It’s true, though it’s up to the Narrator to determine what’s interesting and what isn’t, and it takes skill and imagination to shape what goes in their ears. The position isn’t about the Narrator, it’s about those with tales to tell.
And so we decided. And the winner? Stay tuned.