PrincipalBen Wheatley

Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR, has more than 35 years of public relations and corporate communication experience as a public relations executive, corporate communicator and sole public relations practitioner.

Ben cut his communication teeth as a newspaper reporter and photographer, a valuable career starter that taught him to write accurately and quickly, adhere to strict deadlines and be resourceful in getting things done. His journalistic background has proved extremely valuable in developing effective media relations programs because he can quickly find the heart of the story and help position the news for media consumption.

He parlayed these journalistic skills into a successful corporate communication career that encompassed writing and editing company magapapers, newsletters and magazines as well as developing strategic employee communication programs to keep management and employees “on the same page.”

In 1983, he joined Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations in Houston to manage public relations accounts in the real estate, health care, consumer products, construction, legal and financial services industries. At the firm for seven years, Ben developed strong bonds and close working relationships with the many talented and creative advertising professionals at Ogilvy & Mather.

Throughout the 1990s, he seized the opportunity to hone his entrepreneurial skills by launching Ben Wheatley Public Relations. In those years, the firm primarily concentrated on employee communication, marketing communication and media relations assignments for companies in upstream oil and gas, consumer, construction, health care and a variety of other industries. He collaborated with a host of other professionals, including writers, designers and photographers, in building a successful communication company.

The opportunity for additional professional growth came when Ben joined Pierpont Communications, now Houston’s largest public relations agency, in 1999 as Senior Vice President. As a member of the firm’s management team, he managed public relations, marketing communication and employee communication activities as well as generated significant new business in construction, real estate, oil and gas, specialty chemicals, consumer products, energy and software industries.

At Pierpont, he worked with such organizations as the Houston Rockets/Toyota Center, Shell Oil, Penreco, Administaff, Stewart & Stevenson, Camden Properties, Wärtsilä, Suez Energy Resources, JE Dunn Construction, Cherry Demolition, Emirates Airline, Broadpoint, Geotrace. Save-A-Lot Groceries, Wood Group and more. Throughout his tenure, he managed and mentored a large number of staff members and encouraged their careers in public relations. At the firm, Ben worked with a diverse range of fellow employees, consultants and other professional service providers—relationships he maintains and accesses when complex and multi-phased projects require additional outside assistance. 

A native of Missouri, Ben migrated to Kansas where he earned his BS and MS in journalism and mass communication from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.



Although no Pulitzer is on his mantel, Ben has won dozens of other awards for communication projects throughout his career. These include a Gold Quill and numerous Bronze and Silver Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC); many Gold and Silver Excalibur Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a Lantern Award from the Business Marketing Association. In the early stages of his self-employment in 1992, the IABC/Houston Chapter named Ben the Communicator of the Year.



Ben is one of the few national communicators to have earned dual professional accreditation: He is both an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) with IABC and Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by PRSA. Earning accreditation is a way of demonstrating the ability to think and plan strategically and to successfully manage those skills essential to effective organizational communication, which include internal communications, media relations, crisis communications and external relations.


Professional Involvement

Presently, Ben is active with both local chapters of IABC and PRSA. Further, he is a member of PRSA's Counselors Academy, a national network of senior-level communicators and public relations firm owners who regularly meet to share knowledge, network and keep abreast of the latest trends in the field of public relations.

Throughout his career, Ben has held numerous volunteer leadership posts in both IABC/Houston and PRSA Houston. And, he is the only Houston communicator who has served as president of both organizations. He headed IABC/Houston in 1981 and later served PRSA Houston as its 2001 president.

While president of the PRSA Houston chapter in 2001, Ben helped form The Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH), which supports the growth and development of the public relations profession by awarding scholarships to college students and providing grants and awards to educators. He served as PRFH president for two years.

PRFH annually awards a $3,000 scholarship to an undergraduate or graduate student studying PR/communications and is either from the Houston area or is attending Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M or the University of Houston.