BLUE ASH, Oh. – Tony Pierce never set out to be an entrepreneur.
He had forged a career in video production at local TV stations before spending nine years as the chief engineer at the Procter & Gamble Company’s internal production facility.
“Then along came a guy named Durk Jager who started downsizing,” Pierce said of the former P&G CEO. “I took a package. It was either that or be reassigned, and there was nothing in my field.”
Pierce thought about taking another job to stay with the company but decided he needed to stick with his passion. So in 2001, he started Pierce Media, a full-service video production company.
Pierce figured he would try being his own boss for a few years and see how it went.
“Procter kind of prepared you,” he said. “We were an internal group that almost acted like an external agency. We competed with outside groups. We were responsible for billing. I didn’t really know it at the time, but it was really sort of teaching me to be an entrepreneur.”
Once Pierce became his own boss, he was hooked.
“One thing I didn’t count on in that entrepreneurship is very addicting,” he said.
Now all these years later, Pierce Media is going strong. The company has offices on Cornell Park Drive in Blue Ash. Pierce is the only full-time employee, and he has another part-time staffer. He works with other staff on a contract basis, hiring them for projects as needed for clients such as Cintas Corp., P&G, the Greater Cincinnati Urban League and Time Warner Cable. He also partners with the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber to offer special deals to its members.
Clients say Pierce distinguishes himself through his dedication to producing a quality product.
For the Greater Cincinnati Urban League, for example, Pierce recently shot video from the start of the nonprofit’s nine-week Construction Connections program to the finish, said Stephen Tucker, the Urban League’s vice president of workforce programs.
Doing What It Takes To Get The Job Done
“I was blown away,” Tucker said. “He was always available. The production schedule was very challenging. But he was willing to do what it took to get the job done and get the kind of shots that he needed.”
Pierce is a perfectionist, said Howard Elliott, president of Elliott Management Group. Elliott also is a former P&G executive who knew Pierce from their time at the company.
“I’ve been part of videos with him that I’ve actually been in the video,” Elliott said. “He won’t give up on a shot until he thinks it’s perfect. Which can sometimes be a little annoying when you’re the person doing your part over and over again. But it really pays off when you see the final product.”
Pierce also can plan a shoot so well that he can work quickly and effectively with busy executives who don’t have time for lots of takes, said Chuck Helmes, vice president of marketing for Xpedx in Loveland.
Helmes first hired Pierce for video work when Helmes was a marketing executive with Cintas Corp., one of Pierce Media’s major clients.
Pierce helped Cintas craft videos for product launches and promotions that featured the company president and other senior executives with busy schedules.
“Those can be pressure packed,” Helmes said. “His preparation, his style, his management on those video shoots was always first class.”
The other reason Helmes said he likes working with Pierce is because he’s so good with the post-production aspect of the work.
“Every time it was shocking that when I went to review the video, it was either perfect or 95 percent to perfect,” Helmes said. “The consistency of his work – I trusted it.”
Pierce hopes the quality of his company’s work will continue to set him apart as more and more companies start providing video production services and some corporations try to take video production in-house to cut costs.
He’s also looking to grow his company by helping clients with video for use on their websites and with social media.
“If you’re looking to do it on the cheap, I’m not the person you want to deal with,” Pierce said. “But if you want quality work at a fair price that’s competitive, then I’m the person that you want to talk to.”
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