Working in public relations, I have found myself in some unusual situations. I've modeled hair extensions for editor briefings and bridesmaids gowns for six a.m. television segments. I've snuck into the kitchen at the Mandarin Oriental hotel to filch a sandwich for an event guest's diabetic grandmother. I've blended smoothies in my office at three-thirty a.m.
Publicists sometimes have a bad rap, for being "flacks" and for spinning unpleasant stories into feel-good news, but this is, for the most part, an unjustified generalization. If nothing else, most PR professionals will agree that we'll do just about anything, within reason, for our clients.
We'll pick up flowers from the only florist that's open until midnight below fourteenth street. We'll push hand-trucks full of blenders and bananas through high-end shoe departments in crowded shopping malls. We'll stay up all night if that's what it takes to make sure our event goes off without a hitch. We'll search far and wide for the perfect box to ship our mailers in – surpassing seven that are only OK to find the one that's just right.
Despite all of this hard work, sometimes events don't succeed.
For example, in 2005, Snapple attempted to create the world's largest popsicle made of frozen Snapple juice in New York City's Union Square. It sounded genius at first – until the 80-plus degree temperatures melted the mammoth confection, drenching the city streets with melted Snapple juice. See? Those crazy little details do matter, even when they're up to Mother Nature.
The moral of the story here is not a lesson in proper marketing practices or event planning 101. The moral of the story here is that sometimes, it's even too hot for ice cream.
If the idea of stepping outside with an ice cream cone turns your hands into a sticky mess by just thinking about it, a cookie modeled after your favorite flavor might be in order.
These cookies also happen to be an excellent way to reward yourself for a long day on the job.
Butter Pecan Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.
2. With an electric mixer, cream butter for about a minute. Add 1/3 cup sugar and cream until light, about 1 minute more. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.
3. Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Place, 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet.
4. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass (reshape sides if necessary). Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
What's the craziest thing you've ever done for your job? (I promise, I'll never tell your boss – secrets are safe here on the Internet).