QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Terry Hemeyer, principal of PierpontCommunications

He's always flown high, either as a member of the US Air Force,

appearing on The Tonight Show, or orchestrating $75 million deals

with the likes of Ted Turner. But he's yet to realize his greatest feat

- a slam dunk.

Meet Terry Hemeyer, principal of Pierpont Communications, among many

other things.

What do you do? I am a faculty member teaching crisis and communications

management in the Rice University MBA program and at the University of

Texas at Austin. I am also managing director at Service Corporation

International and senior counsel/principal at Pierpont Communications

(and retired).

Tell us something interesting about your company: In 14 years, Pierpont

has never laid anybody off.

How did you get into PR? During my Air Force career, I started in music.

But realizing promotions would come slowly, I transitioned to public

affairs, and retired after promotion to colonel.

What is your greatest achievement? Three things come to mind. First,

being promoted from PR to top administrative management of a Fortune 200

company (Pennzoil in 1990).Starting the first media training program for

the Department of Defense in 1976 was also a highlight. Third, managing

PR for Pennzoil during its litigation with Texaco. Harvard professor

Lawrence Tribe declared, "PR was critical to the outcome of the case."

All of this has allowed me to enjoy another great achievement - teaching

and helping young PR and business students.

What was your best pitch/best stunt? Personally selling Pennzoil's

650,000-acre New Mexico ranch to Ted Turner for over $75


What are you working on this week? Grading mid-terms, handling queries,

and doing interviews on bioterrorism and homeland security.

If you could work for one organization, what would it be? The White

House Homeland Security crisis team.

What time do you get up? 5:30 am.

What invention would make your job easier? Truth serum aerosol for


Write the headline for the story you would most like to read in PRWeek

"Experimental drug works: PR's Hemeyer is 20 years old again."

What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? "That's bullshit!"

Who would you most like to work with? Harold Richard Graham (Harold

Burson, Richard Edelman, John Graham).

If you were an animal, what would you be? A Jack Russell Terrier.

Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn: I

have a music background and have appeared on The Tonight Show and


What skill would you most like to have? I, all 5'6" of me, would love to

dunk a basketball.

Which historical figure would you most like to represent? Winston


What is the secret of your success? It's a secret.

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