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
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
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.