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Creativity, style earns Aspinwall man honor

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Owner of 321Blink Tim Mclaughlin recenty won a media award.

Aspinwall resident Tim McLaughlin has been voted into what he considers the media Hall of Fame.

The owner and president of 321Blink, a creative agency along Brilliant Avenue, McLaughlin earned the Art Stein Memorial Award from the Media Association of Pittsburgh.

“It's for longevity and dedication to the club,” said McLaughlin, 47, a member since the mid-1990s.

McLaughlin has served as both president and board member.

“The cool thing about it is that it's not given every year. If they feel there's not someone worthy, they don't do it.

“It makes it more special.”

Past recipients of the award include Paige Beal, an associate professor of marketing at Point Park University; marketing executive Duncan Jameson; and WQED Senior Account Executive Morry Feldman, who said McLaughlin “richly” deserves the outstanding achievement award.

“He has helped the association rise to new heights of success through his creativity, his ability to constructively problem-solve and his inclusive style,” Feldman said.

Founded nearly 70 years ago as the Pittsburgh Radio and Television Club, the media association was originally focused on social networking.

Today, the group's mission has evolved into something broader — to educate the media community and serve as a resource for buyers and sellers. Members also work to raise money that provides scholarships for college students entering the communications field.

“I consider some of the honorees the Who's Who of Pittsburgh media,” McLaughlin said. “To be alongside them, for a young man like myself, is humbling.”

With his career rooted in media, McLaughlin worked for a television provider about 13 years before starting 321Blink.

His office along Brilliant Avenue is peppered with mementos that highlight McLaughlin's quirky personality — bobble head dolls, Pitt pompoms, skeletons and a cardboard cutout of Austin Powers. There are plenty of dog treats too, for days when he and his half-dozen employees bring their furry pals to the office, which specializes in video production and social media management.

“We focus on the convergence of traditional media and new. It's taking clients and showing them how Facebook is like a billboard or what a Tweet is like,” he said.

The company currently handles campaigns for Giant Eagle, the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group and local automotive dealers.

Having moved to Aspinwall in 2001 from State College, McLaughlin said he loves the neighborhood and its small-town traditions.

“I enjoy sitting on your porch chatting with neighbors, being able to walk to do anything,” he said.

McLaughlin has put his muscle where his mouth is, having become heavily involved in fundraising for community beautification projects as president of the Fox Chapel District Association. The group hosts yearlong fundraisers to pay for walking trails, tree planting and, this year, to put toward the Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

McLaughlin just wrapped up a busy season preparing for the group's song-and-dance skit “The Follies,” where he worked behind the scenes at the Pittsburgh Field Club to make the show a roaring success.

The association is on pace to raise $100,000, with most of it earmarked for the riverfront park.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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