About Us

This is our “About Us” episode.  One of our goals is simply to make the time you spend during your commute or during your workout a little bit more fun and interesting. The premise of the Shaping Opinion podcast is simple. It’s about the people, events and things that have shaped the way we think.

Almost every regular episode involves a guest who helps us tell a story through conversation. Each guest is likely to have a personal or professional interest in our topic for the episode. We tell interesting stories, sometimes forgotten, little-known, or under-appreciated stories, but always they represent change. A turning point that marked a significant shaping of the way we think today.

A podcast like this can be difficult to categorize. It’s about history and society and sometimes pop culture, but it’s about more than that. Yes, it’s often about public relations, marketing, advertising and communications issues and topics, but it’s not an industry podcast. It’s about you. It’s about us and how we see the world thanks to the influences that have shaped us and the world in which we live.

That may be what the podcast is about, but we do need to tell you what it is not about.

It’s not about the news you’re seeing this week. It’s not about the latest technology or platforms you may need to learn. There are many other good podcasts already available for that.

If you like listening to the Shaping Opinion podcast, I’d be so honored if you would subscribe to it and rate it on iTunes. Just go to ShapingOpinion.com/iTunes.

About Your Host Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien formed O’Brien Communications, an independent corporate communications practice, in June 2001 after serving as Communications Director and the Chief Investor Relations Officer at a publicly traded tech firm.  He launched the Shaping Opinion podcast in April 2018 to add a new dimension to the conversation about the role of communication in society.  In doing so, we explore the big picture through specific stories.

O’Brien Communications has managed corporate projects and communications programs for both publicly and privately held companies, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Services have centered on major transactions; bankruptcy filings and subsequent reorganization support; earnings reports; professional services marketing; annual report writing; media relations counsel, planning and support; crisis communications planning; communications and media training; and corporate and marketing communications writing.

Before his time on the corporate side, Tim spent ten years at Ketchum, where he was a Vice President, handling corporate communications and crisis/issues management client work for some of the country’s largest and most visible organizations.

KDKA circa 1982

He started his career as a producer/news writer at KDKA-TV & Radio (CBS).

Tim earned his bachelor’s degree with majors in Journalism and Rhetoric at Duquesne University.

He is a member of the Board of Ethics & Professional Standards of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), where he has been accredited since 1990. He has served on the PRSA/Pittsburgh Board of Directors.

He is a regular columnist for PRSA’s monthly publication PR Strategies & Tactics, a monthly contributor to Muck Rack Daily, and he has written for several trade publications on communications topics. He has presented at professional and trade functions, including the American Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education programs. He has also lectured at graduate and undergraduate programs at several leading colleges and universities.

He contributed to the “PR News Crisis Management Guidebook,” the “PR News Employee Communications Guidebook,” and he was featured in Harvard Business School Press’s “The Essentials of Corporate Communications and Public Relations.”

In 2017, Tim was an inaugural recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s Independent Practitioner Alliance “Indie Award.” His work has been recognized in several awards competitions. He can be reached at 412.854.8845; or [email protected].