PRSSA welcomes Grady alum and CAA agent Jason Hafford
By Anna Gilstrap
On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, UGA PRSSA held its first meeting of the spring 2021 semester featuring Jason Hafford, a Grady alum and global television agent with Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles.
Hafford graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a degree in digital and broadcast journalism. Originally, he wanted to pursue a career as a foreign news correspondent; but he quickly realized after gaining some journalism experience that he would rather be in the entertainment industry than the hard news space. From that realization, he packed up and moved to LA with nothing but a few friends from Grady and a dream.
The road to Hafford assuming his current role as a CAA global television agent was long and winding. He blindly submitted his resume to over 100 companies, and of those 100, heard back from 10, had phone calls with five and actually interviewed with two (one of them was CAA).
He then accepted an unpaid assistantship and worked his way up through his strong work ethic and dedication. His advice?
“Get in where you fit in, then prove you work twice as hard as everyone else and move up quickly,” Hafford said.
Hafford offered plenty of other useful tips to PRSSA members: do research on the companies you interview with, put your resume everywhere, don’t take rejection personally and get out of your comfort zone. He also gave hope to entertainment communication hopefuls and said it’s absolutely possible to break into the seemingly saturated industry. However, he explained that it’s definitely not for everyone.
The entertainment industry, according to Hafford, requires you to be available around the clock; you’re the person who gets a call in the middle of the night when a crisis comes up and you’re expected to fix it as soon as possible. It is a great career path for the problem solvers and the truly passionate, but it is quite demanding.
Not only did he offer his wisdom as a successful entertainment professional, but he also detailed what his work entails. An agent’s main function is to procure work for their clients and keep them busy professionally. As a global television agent, Hafford focuses on the international side of the business, and arranges deals for American clients in India. He also helps Indian clients find work in America; one such example is Priyanka Chopra.
We loved having Jason Hafford as our first speaker of the semester! Stay tuned for PRSSA’s next general body meeting on Tuesday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. We will host a panel of professionals from Weber Shandwick, one of the leading PR agencies in New York City.