MediaWorks will operate as a business unit within Nelson Bostock and offer a range of services from "narrative creation and storytelling" to media and performance training, plus "messaging workshops" and multimedia and video production.
"MediaWorks aims to get to the heart of a brand or business story with powerful content that engages audiences across both traditional and social media," said Nelson Bostock Unlimited.
The idea is that MediaWorks provides clips on behalf of clients in a style appropriate for broadcast journalists.
Cowan, whose previous experience also includes running the Los Angeles bureau for Canadian news channel CTV, told PRWeek that nowadays there’s a "real need for brands not to just have a press release but a compelling video to tell a story".
"I think traditionally PR has been about pushing out a message and then hoping that journalists will pick it up. But increasingly I think that if you have people who understand what a good story is, and you can help refine that story, you can really help that brand by helping to advise them on what will work and what’s likely to work."
MediaWorks would work with some clients of Nelson Bostock Unlimited and those of parent company Creston, and could also work with rival agencies if appropriate. The unit comprises a three-strong team at present and has a network of freelancers.
Nelson Bostock Unlimited CEO Lee Nugent said: "From its inception, Nelson Bostock Group has helped brands and businesses connect with wider audiences. With the launch of MediaWorks, and Matt at the helm, we’re able to address client needs even more effectively.
"Matt and his team will help clients to define, articulate and tell their story in a consistent, entertaining way through multiple channels. MediaWorks’ goal is to craft and communicate great stories by creating content that cuts through the clutter."
Cowan added: "Prior to the web we lived in a world of finite column inches and airtime. The web has changed the rules. Though advertising and PR still exist in their traditional forms, brands now have the ability to engage audiences directly through branded content.
"However, in order to find an audience and get picked up by media this content needs to be genuinely interesting and useful. The emphasis at MediaWorks is on great storytelling and quality content."
The moves follows last month’s announcement that Nelson Bostock is being rebranded Nelson Bostock Unlimited as part of a branding initiative encompassing 25 agencies owned by Creston.