Allen & Gerritsen Tops Ad Age's Best Places to Work List
What's better than topping Ad Age 's Best Places to Work list? Easy: topping it two years in a row.
Andrew Graff, A&G's president-CEO, said meetings with architects produced strong reactions. "We got comments ranging from, "It reminds me of an insane asylum,' to, "That's the kind of place where I want to work,'" Mr. Graff said.
Mr. Graff said that after the staff has settled into its new digs, the agency -- which recently picked up Papa Gino's New England Pizza and the Los Angeles Zoo as clients -- is set hire 30 to 50 employees in the coming year. That will mean more welcome packages (agency T-shirts, chocolates and maybe some aspirin) for new team members, and more handwritten birthday cards from Mr. Graff, who sends one to every employee.
Part of Mr. Graff's approach to courting and keeping a happy staff has been cultivating the internship program. It recently started a competition called Tech Apprentice, modeled after "Celebrity Apprentice," in which hopefuls vie for a spot on Intern Row by demonstrating the most creative use of social media and mobile technology.
Mr. Graff said understanding and managing young tech natives, as well as making the agency interesting to them, is crucial to being part of advertising's advertising. Interns appreciate that .
"Interns aren't [relegated to] filing cabinets and coffee pots but rather are treated as real employees," one intern wrote in the survey. "The intern program ... really caters to enriching us with opportunities and realistic experiences."