LOS ANGELES—Kirk Stewart, former executive director at APCO Worldwide, vice president of corporate communications at Nike, and CEO at Manning Selvage & Lee (now MSLGroup), has formed a new firm, KTStewart, headquartered in Los Angeles and specializing in corporate communications.

Stewart says he believes there is a “gap in the market”—both in Los Angeles and nationally—focused on the corporate realm, and that he hopes to attract “clients looking to build, enhance or protect their reputations and create greater competitive advantage.” He says that changes in the communications landscape, particularly in the digital and social arena, give corporate communicators the ability to tell their stories proactively, playing “offense” as well as “defense.”

The firm will help clients better manage and protect their reputations; define their organizations and enhance the excellence of their communications function; anticipate, prepare for and manage crises and issues; develop citizenship strategies and engagement with stakeholders; inspire employees and produce more effective brand ambassadors; create, produce and disseminate compelling storytelling content across multiple platforms.

Prior to starting his new firm, Stewart played a leading role in serving APCO’s corporate clients and helping broaden and expand the firm’s corporate communications practice. The new firm will be affiliated with APCO Worldwide, where Stewart will remain a member of the firm’s international advisory council.

Before joining APCO, he served as global vice president of corporate communications for Nike, responsible for corporate media relations, brand communications, crisis and issues management, internal communications, community affairs, sustainable development and stakeholder engagement.

Previously, Stewart spent 16 years with the global public relations firm Manning Selvage & Lee, the last four-and-a-half years as its chairman and chief executive officer.