Hotel blogs can serve a variety of purposes, from providing behind-the-scenes info to guests, to customer service, to SEO.

Hotels Magazine just conducted their first assessment of how hotels are using social media. The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, won the 2012 Social Hotel Award for best property blog.

What set this Milwaukee hotel apart from other contenders was their one-of-a-kind Pfister Narrator program.

The Pfister Narrative

This initiative involved the hotel hiring a “writer-in-residence” for a six-month stint, for 10 hours per week, to spend time in the hotel’s lobby, speak with visitors and guests and share their stories on the Pfister’s blog.

The goal was simple: to increase website traffic and engage guests on a more personal level.

This is an awesome idea in that it provides a neutral perspective on the property vs. if an employee were managing the blog (which is also great and effective; this just makes it more unique).

Referring to it as a “narration” rather than simply a blog also adds a literary element different from others.

According to Hotels Magazine, between January 1, 2011, and April 1, 2012, the website saw 569,051 visits, about 75% of which were new visits.

Pfister’s target audience included writers, journalists, business and leisure travelers, and potential guests who might be able to see themselves in the stories of others.

The budget for the program is the Narrator’s choice of three payment types: $1,000 stipend per month, a scholarship for continuing education or a donation to a charity of choice.

They have had three narrators thus far and Dasha Kelly currently maintains the role for the 2012-2013 period.

The site notes that Kelly was chosen to serve as narrator based on her writing style, experience and personality; emphasizing the Preferred Hotel’s commitment to the aura of storytelling.

What other hotels have you seen set a high example with their blogs?