This San Francisco Creative Agency Wants to Be a ‘Beacon’ for the Freelance Community

RSL + Crew combs its list when it needs to staff up


Specs
Who (L. to r.) Co-founders John Sheehan, John Reid and Ben Latimer
What Creative agency
Where San Francisco

RSL + Crew was founded last year by John Reid, John Sheehan and Ben Latimer (the R, S and L of RSL) for one mission: to create Yelp's first national campaign. But the agency is still going strong and has developed what they believe is a uniquely efficient agency model. Instead of using full-time staffers, the shop pulls from a crew list of over 450 people across 17 disciplines (everything from sports to electronics) to staff up or down as needed. "What we rely on, the lifeblood of our model, is the freelance economy, which is pretty robust here in San Francisco," said Sheehan. "We're able to find smart senior people who have chosen [freelance] as a lifestyle versus working at a traditional agency." But the shop, whose other clients include Rockwood Capital and the San Francisco Public Library, isn't looking to exploit freelancers. "Philosophically, we, RSL, want to give back to that community and pay tribute to them," explained Sheehan. "Whether it's things like trying to help them with benefits or office space, we want to play that side as well and be seen as a beacon for that freelance community."

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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