NEW YORK—Robert McEwen and Preya McMahon, the two most senior executives at international public relations boutique Zing, have created a second brand, McEwen McMahon, with a focus on issues, reputation and crisis management

The new brand will offer more corporate public relations services while Zing—based in Australia but with a New York office led by McEwen—will remain a consumer PR brand.

McMahon, based in Sydney, has founded two of the most successful PR agencies—Zing and Bang— selling the latter in January to M&C Saatchi Worldwide. She has worked with clients including Coca-Cola, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Nestle, Mattel, McDonald’s, Paramount and MGM.

McEwen worked in the United Airlines “war room” on the morning of 9-11, and has played a role in the 14 year-long patent litigation between Kodak and Polaroid and what at the time was the largest meat recall in history after 15 deaths were traced to a Sara Lee packing plant. More recently, he worked with insurers to develop communications protocols for data breaches.

“It's far more economical to deal with an issue in its emergent phase than it is to ignore a problem until some triggering event thrusts the issue before the klieg lights of the media,” he says. “That's when a company finds itself in the docket of the court of public opinion, where the jury most often presumes guilt, not innocence, and the trial is almost always a costly one."