On Wednesday, Mitt Romney’s communications director Eric Fehrnstrom compared the candidate to the toy, telling CNN: “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign, everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart it all over again.”
As Romney’s camp struggled to control the fallout, Etch A Sketch capitalized on the media spotlight thanks to the savvy work of Southard Communications, the PR firm that represents the toy’s parent company, Ohio Art.
The firm’s owner, Bill Southard, spoke with PR Daily publisher Mark Ragan at the Nasdaq studio in New York on Friday about the incident.
“It’s been phenomenal … a whirlwind,” he told PR Daily about the experience.
Southard said that around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, shortly after the comments appeared, the cell phones of Southard staffers started exploding with messages. Once they saw the comment, PR pros at Southard got on the phone with the owners of Ohio Art and mapped out a strategy.