Joe Shields, Principal

Joe Shields, Principal


Joe is a 30-year public relations veteran. Prior to forming ROK in August 2017, Joe spent 25 years in leadership at Wordsworth Communications, which he helped grow into the largest and most-awarded public relations agency in Greater Cincinnati.

Over his three-decade career, Joe has designed and implemented communications strategies to raise the profiles of a range of business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies, from Fortune 500 corporations to small start-ups. He also has deep experience with nonprofit organizations, municipalities, large infrastructure projects and political campaigns. He is skilled in all aspects of the PR discipline, including strategic planning, key messaging, audience identification and segmenting, branding, measurement, publicity, media training, social media and writing. His work has been recognized with numerous awards from the Public Relations Society of America.

Joe is particularly known for his work in crisis management and community relations. He has helped clients prepare for, address and recover from all manner of crises and issues, including national product recalls, workplace shootings, embezzlement, sexual harassment, racial strife, riots, development opposition, elected official malfeasance, hazing, C-suite firings, federal investigations and tax fraud. He is a trusted counselor and confidante to business and community leaders across Greater Cincinnati.

Joe is a frequent lecturer and presenter on public relations and crisis management. He is currently a board member of Holly Hill Children’s Services and Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics Alumni Council. Past board affiliations include the Music Hall Restoration Company, Behringer-Crawford Museum, Northern Kentucky Forum and Cincinnati World Piano Competition.