Nov 2, 2011

13. W+K's Hayley Goggin on Production + Remaining Calm

Being a producer means that you must have a zest for life, even in the mundane and boring situations. Hayley Goggin, one of W+K Portland's Senior Producers, describes her addiction to advertising like having an illness or perversion. Her love of her job is all consuming. She couldn't imagine doing anything else, and whatever she does, it will be done perfectly.

Her love of advertising and producing is evident in two of my favorite commercials (which she produced) for the beautiful Levi's 'Go Forth' campaign:

O Pioneers!


Hayley offered kick-ass advice for anyone who's considering entering the production side of advertising. Here's what she looks for when hiring Production Assistants (PAs) at W+K:

Kick-ass advice #1: Go to LA. Why aren't you there right now? Go there. To truly understand what you're getting yourself into, you must travel to the eye of the storm and learn through osmosis. Careers in production begin in LA. Seriously. Go now.

Kick-ass advice #2: You must be a problem solver. To succeed, you must be scrappy, confident and quick thinking. 

Kick-ass advice #3: Be effortless, or at least make it appear as if you were effortless (they don't need to know about the time you got so frustrated that you threw your phone at the wall or you screamed at your cat). Bring your boss exactly what he wants and bring it with a smile. Don't make it about you.

Kick-ass advice #4: Be the 'YES' girl. Hayley started as a 'yes' girl in a PA position and now she's one of the senior producers at W+K (connection made?). To get noticed, you must be the first one there and the last one to leave. Work nights, weekends, holidays. It will probably mean 95% ignoring your boyfriend, dog, health, family, but, it's very competitive and to make more than a free-cup-of-coffee-a-day salary, you must be on all the time. She advices to think of your time in LA as a residency so you don't resent it.

Kick-ass advice #5: Utilize your natural leadership skills (if you don't have natural leadership skills, this probably isn't your job). Drive + personality + motivation, will be what make you successful. You need to be likable and comedic. If you think she's asking for a lot, refer to advice #4.

Kick-ass advice #6: Be "The Good Yogi." That nickname was given to Hayley as a PA because she was present and could provide what the situation needed, whether that be comedy, sandwiches, or a silent moment. Be a chameleon.

The take away: Be smart, quick and accurate about your job. Remember to never, ever let your bosses see you stressed. The job is highly intensive but you must remain calm. This point was obviously reiterated several times.

The responsibilities of a producer:
1. Put together a calender and budget.
2. Help choose the director based on the spirit of the campaign. Be a creative facilitator.
3. Constantly fielding all things communication. Making sure the creatives know where and when they are supposed to be somewhere. Get the director to the right location. Communicate between director and creatives.
4. Make sure the project or the people you work for, or with, don't go off the rails. Yet again, stay calm, keep others calm. (I feel like we're talking about a spa.)
5. Take temperature of any given situation and react to what needs to be done.

Production studios she likes:

Thanks Hayley!


  1. This is great! Thanks for posting. Did you interview her or is this from and article, blog post, etc?

  2. I interviewed her and this is my own writing, along with everything else on my blog. I'm glad you enjoyed!