RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Four marketing executives with a combined total of more than 75 years of experience are launching a new marketing and public relations firm in Charlotte.

Lead Dog Communications, formed by James Abt, Bill Bennett, Christina Dau and Christian Scarborough, says it will offer numerous services while specializing in corporate identities and communications.

“In our information economy, leading companies understand the need to architect an accurate and effective corporate identity; continually craft success stories, drive trends and respond in real-time to perpetually shifting market events,” the company states on its web site. “Based on our experience playing a significant role in the building of several leading corporate identities, LDC knows a public relations agency can be the impetus in this process.”

Abt, the president of the firm, says he realizes that they are launching the firm in a time of tight budgets.

“I came to Charlotte three years ago to expand the market presence of Niehaus Ryan Wong,” he tells Local Tech Wire. “Unfortunately, NRW was not able to survive the bust. I was then the Charlotte presence for another (San Francisco)-based PR firm Ryan Communications.”

The new group is privately financed, Abt says. The team was formed from people who had met each other in working on projects.

“We came together as a result of working together at various points in our career,” Abt explains. “Bill had most recently been a vice president at Citigate Cunningham, Christian has had tremendous success for clients as a freelancer and Christina has been focusing on public affairs.”

He believes that the combination of their talents will set Lead Dog apart from other firms.

“Considering the economy, feedback from companies and the failure of traditional PR firms to evolve, we believe by coming together and forming LDC, we are offering an approach and services that will have substantial traction in the market,” Abt explains.

Abt formerly worked with Niehaus Ryan Wong/Ryan Communications where he handled such accounts as Concur Technologies and Bidcom. That firm was actively involved in the launch of Yahoo!, according to Abt.

Bennett has worked for more than 20 years in marketing and communications. Among his clients were Levi Strauss & Co, The Smithsonian Institute, Business 2.0, Toshiba and Sun Microsystems. He also was the executive producer of the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings.

Dau, a former political consultant for the Republican Party, has more than 25 years of experience in marketing. She also has been a free-lance journalist.

Scarborough formerly worked with Pixar Animation Studios and coordinated public relations between Pixar and Walt Disney for “Toy Story.” Scarborough has more than 11 years of experience.

“With companies continuing to reduce marketing budgets, we understand the need for affordable, effective communications programs that will enable organizations to distance themselves from the competition,” Abt said in a news release announcing the firm. “We have an experienced and proven team that has developed a unique and streamlined leadership communications model, which we leverage with the tight integration of strategy, tactics and business intelligence to establish clients as a dominant market force.”

Lead Dog: