Barry Jagoda
Barry Jagoda

By Rick Griffin

With feelings of nostalgia and curiosity, Barry Jagoda, a 17-year resident of La Jolla, says he’s eager to watch the upcoming televised presidential debates, which begin Sept. 29.

In 1976, Jagoda coached former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter for his presidential debates against incumbent President Gerald Ford. Later, Carter became the 39th President. He won the popular vote by two points, but garnered 297 electoral votes to Ford’s 240.

“Presidential debates are often determinant in how voters decide, so presidential debates are a crucial forum every four years,” Jagoda told Times of San Diego. “The outcome of presidential debates are difficult, if not impossible, to gauge in advance, regardless of outside expectations.

“Adherence to facts is a crucial determinant, but pre-debate expectations by major media players, as well as those from each campaign, help set a finish line for each debater. These debates should show the minds of the candidates at work, including the possibility of position clarifications and possible gaffes.”

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Jagoda writes about his role as Carter’s campaign TV advisor and later as special assistant in the White House in his recently released memoir book, “Journeys with Jimmy Carter and Other Adventures in Media,” published by Koehler Books. Prior to working in politics, Jagoda worked as a producer for CBS News, winning Emmy Awards for coverage of the first man on the moon and the Watergate scandal.

Jagoda, 76, has worked for 53 years in journalism and public and marketing communications. After leaving the White House in 1979 (Jagoda did not assist Carter with his 1980 debates against Ronald Reagan), Jagoda worked as director of public relations of George Washington University, director of communications for IMPAC, a productivity consulting firm, and communications director for the University of California San Diego.

“For Carter, with a lightning-quick mind, immersion in data was most important so I strongly recommended several days of isolation for study,” Jogada said. “Carter was amendable to that recommendation and knew he could better manage facts than could the incumbent. That was the way it turned out, especially when the voting public could see President Ford stumble on basic geopolitical realities, particularly regarding Eastern Europe. A fundamental goal for Carter was to make sure the American public saw the two candidates standing equally on the debate stage with the challenger ready to take on the incumbent, in appearance and in substance.”

For the upcoming Trump vs. Biden debates, Jagoda said, “The outcome of the debates is unclear in advance, so either candidate could gain or lose from a particular encounter. Debate mistakes are nearly impossible to predict in advance. Their excitement and interest comes from the possibilities of unexpected errors by either candidate.

Barry Jagoda with Jimmy Carter
Barry Jagoda with Jimmy Carter.

“Biden must stick to the facts and science in debating. For Biden, avoiding a major error will be critical, and the same goes for Trump. No matter, each campaign will claim victory as they try to spin the results to show a victory for their own candidate.”

Jagoda’s book includes a chapter featuring what he describes as a non-partisan citizen’s guide to the 2020 election. He questions Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, “which seems to me to be an exaggeration and an overstatement,” said Jagoda. “I’m personally following the election as a registered independent and I certainly will make my own voting choices and will go to the polls to express those views.”

PRSA Discussing Ethical and Unethical Crises

The Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego-Imperial Counties chapter will host “Ethical and Unethical Crisis Management,” an online webinar on ethical issues in crisis management, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24, over Zoom.

Jim Lukaszweksi
Jim Lukaszweksi

Jim Lukaszweksi, known as America’s crisis guru, will discuss what really makes a crisis an ethical crisis, how management defensiveness leads to mistakes, how unconscionable behavior can lead to unethical behavior, unbelievable but commonly used excuses and the psychology behind unethical leadership misbehavior and flawed decisions. Attendees will learn best practices in how to behave and communicate ethically, profiles in failure, how to avoid bungling apology and empathy, how to successfully seek forgiveness and ethical pitfalls to avoid.

Lukaszweksi advises executives to look at problems from a variety of constructive and principled perspectives. He recommends taking a business approach, rather than traditional PR strategies, that includes highly-focused, ethically appropriate action steps. Cost to participate in the Zoom webinar is $15 for members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information, visit

Six Marketing Awards for Frontwave Credit Union.

Oceanside-based Frontwave Credit Union reports it was recently honored with six MAC awards from the Marketing Association of Credit Unions.

A statement from Frontwave said the credit union received Gold awards for its “Value Lasts a Lifetime” advertising campaign, as well as the outdoor media, online-print media and point-of-sale display categories. It also received Silver awards in the general awareness and business development categories.

“Frontwave has made great strides with our new brand and elevating market awareness, affinity, member loyalty and penetration in a highly-competitive market,” said Todd Kern, chief marketing officer for Frontwave Credit Union. “It’s an honor to be recognized among our peers who all do such incredible work in the industry.”

Founded in 1952 as Camp Pendleton Federal Credit Union, Frontwave has more than 100,000 members and $1 billion in assets.

Mayoral Debate To Air on Channel 10 Website, Facebook

KGTV-TV ABC 10News will host a live town hall on its website and Facebook page, and, from 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Sept. 23, with Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria, two candidates for San Diego mayor in the November general election. The moderator will be Lindsey Pena, 10News anchor and reporter.

Discussion topics will focus on issues relating to older adults. Meals on Wheels San Diego County and San Diego Oasis, two San Diego nonprofits that serve seniors, are hosting the town hall, which can also be viewed live at and

Gloria and Bry, both Democrats, were the two top vote-getters among a field of six candidates in the March 2020 primary election. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is ineligible to run for re-election for a third term due to city term limits. Faulconer has held the seat since winning a special election in February 2014, following the resignation of Bob Filner.

Rick Griffin
Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.