After a few years away from the area, Ebensburg native Scott Cunningham returned to the area just a little over a year ago in May of 2015 with his company, Visual Element Media, to help bring big city marketing to small businesses.
Story and photo by: Katie Smolen, Our Town Correspondent
Cunningham describes his company as a content media company and the company develops different content media that would include social media, videos for web release and web design and branding for all clients.
“We typically work with small to medium sized businesses from Pittsburgh to Blair County.” he said.
Cunningham started the business in 2008 when he graduated from South Hills School of Business in Altoona.
“I was doing some different video jobs and I just turned that into a company and then after I graduated I moved out to Pittsburgh and that was late 2009 and started the business, grew the business,” he said. “And then in the summer of 2015 I moved back to my hometown because I wanted to bring these types of services that usually have a high cost associated with them and I wanted to bring them back to Ebensburg… but be able to offer it on a small business budget, so that’s the business model I’ve been following.”
Cunningham added that he wanted to be able to bring the types of products he was creating in Pittsburgh to the smaller ‘mom and pop’ type of businesses back home because he felt everyone should have that level of marketing available to them.
“I feel that every business deserves a voice and I feel that if you have a small restaurant or small retail store that you deserve to have the small marketing as a big company.” he said. “I don’t think that just because your business is in a small market that you should have lesser quality of work, but then you don’t have the budget to have a high production so we compromised and developed smaller packages at a good price while still providing high quality. So we cut a ton of overhead, a ton of markup on our product, so that we could reach more small businesses.”
He added that they try to get to know all their clients and don’t have one type a client.
“We cater to small businesses, mom and pop store,” Cunningham said.
Some of Visual Element’s current clients include Scanlan Electric Supply, Dodson Electric and Kaza Fire Equipment. Cunningham is the sole employee, but he is looking to soon hire an intern.
Cunningham said that creating a lot of content in house has allowed the business to be more organized and run more efficiently.
He added that he takes photos at each location and creates videos each month to be posted for each client.
Looking forward, Cunningham said he would like to continue to expand his business and client base.
“We’re continuing to get our name out and network with other business owners,” he said.
“I’m honored to be on the board for the Main Street Partnership here in Ebensburg, which does all the great community events.”
Cunningham added that Visual Element recently released and eight-part mini documentary series called “#loveLocal”.
“It’s a 2-3 minute mini-documentary and we did the businesses of downtown Ebensburg.” he said. “We’re looking to take that to all of central Pennsylvania.. to show people that these places are unique and these business owners care so much about these communities. It’s kind of like the “Shop Small” campaign from American Express”
Cunningham added that keeping young adults local in the area is a focus of his.
“One of my big girls is to keep our talented young adults here, start their businesses here, start their lives here – and not just Ebensburg, central (Pennsylvania) as a whole. You know, inspire people to start businesses.” he said.