Andrew Graff, CEO of Allen & Gerritsen (A&G) announced the agency’s In Residency Collaborative, designed to spur new thinking and shape the agency of the future by inviting creative companies to cowork in its space. The concept is a talent strategy designed to satisfy increasing client demand for diverse thinking.
“Our In Residency Collaborative is part entrepreneur in residence, part talent co-sharing and part think tank,” said Graff. “It’s also part of how A&G is looking at new ways of doing work.”
Each group “in residency” will have their own business and clients to run and will operate completely separate from Allen & Gerritsen. Ideally, the talent across all groups will share ideas, as naturally as in the kitchen grabbing coffee or chatting at the prime real estate in the office- the seats flanking the windows overlooking the Boston Harbor. There will also be more direct opportunities for In Residency participants to add their perspective on select A&G projects.
Global View Communications (GVC), a Rhode Island-based inclusion business strategy firm was the inspiration for the In Residency Collaborative. For the last 17 years, GVC has been a leader in helping organizations from a wide variety of industries connect diversity and inclusion to their corporate strategies. Allen & Gerritsen has partnered with GVC to host a series of panels on social justice, racism and inclusion. The forums were created to elevate the conversation on topics of importance to Boston’s diverse communities and give members of the Boston business community a safe place to hear and discuss issues. The series has been a success, bringing a different perspective and some great ideas to light for Allen & Gerritsen’s employees and clients. Given that GVC is based in Rhode Island, they work from A&G anytime they are in Boston.
The most recent addition to the In Residency Collaborative is Proper Villains, a boutique agency designed for premium brands with offices in Boston, New York, and Atlanta. Proper Villains was founded by Creative Director Jeff Monahan, who had previously started Monahan & Rhee, a branding firm that delivered award-winning work for some of the world’s leading lifestyle and luxury brands including Vera Wang, Bang & Olufsen, Godiva, Wedgwood, NEST Fragrances, and Hartmann. Proper Villains’ current client roster includes a diverse range of clients, among them New England Baptist Hospital, Bruno Magli, Matillion, and Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
Honor Code Creative, a women-owned marketing agency was the first to join the collaborative. HCC is known for its out-of-the box thinking and approach to branding, creative, content and editorial direction for clients in retail, nonprofit and professional services, including M.Gemi, Hearts on Fire, and Sperry. A&G’s Chief Creative Officer, Jennifer Putnam, worked with Honor Code’s founder Rachel Solomon at Rue La La. “A program like this wouldn’t work with most agencies,” Solomon says. “It works because A&G is nimble, innovative, open, and confident enough to know that more diversity and a wide range of skill sets only makes things better.”
Allen & Gerritsen has been thoughtfully reshaping the agency and its engagement experience with clients. The agency embeds its teams in clients’ offices for a consultative way of working on their business, pulling in unique talent from outside the industry and from companies outside the traditional agency space such as Google, Huge and Sapient. As earned media is part almost every client engagement, A&G has ramped up its public relations practice, in its Philadelphia and Boston offices.
Future In Residency Collaborative members will be considered on a rolling basis. An In Residency Collaborative is in the works for A&G’s Philadelphia office.