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What does Rootstock mean?

“Rootstock” is a horticultural term referring to the part of a plant that’s used to help grow a new and improved tree or plant. The rootstock includes the root system and a small part of the original stem. Onto this is grafted part of another flowering or fruiting tree (called the scion). The combination then grows into a plant that possesses the health and vigor of the rootstock, plus the flavor, harvest size and other appealing traits of the scion—resulting in the best characteristics of both!  

Rootstocks have been an essential part of wine making for over a century—which is admittedly part of why we like the term, too.

How do you collaborate with clients?

We use Basecamp internally for our project management, and if that tool is one you’d like us to include you in, we can. Otherwise we communicate via email, regular check-ins, twice-annual brand growth reviews, and phone calls or texts as necessary. 

Our preferred method for document sharing is Google Docs, but we can also use Dropbox and Sharepoint. 

When absolutely necessary one of our team members can be added to a Slack channel of yours, but we prefer to keep our communication as streamlined as possible. 

All that said, we are open to consulting with you on best practices to help make our relationship one that is smooth and stress-free for everyone.

What if I mostly just need someone to help generate my blog content to boost SEO?

We applaud good content. And using it to elevate your organization in the minds of wider audiences. If you’re looking for a series of blogs per month to populate your site with high-quality content, we can have a conversation. But ultimately we’ll want more for you, and for us.

How do you measure success for your clients?

Each year, we’ll provide a report on what Rootstock has done for you: measuring that value in the quantifiable ways we can, while highlighting qualitative achievements. Regular meetings and twice-annual brand growth assessments will also help us all stay on track. Ultimately, the quality of our work will be measured not by vanity metrics but the narrative and business arc your company takes as a result, in part, of our involvement.

How is your team structured? Who will be my point of contact?


As a collaborative team, we don’t work in silos and we don’t have a hierarchy. We think of each other in this way: Tom is the Contemplator (big thinking, deep writing), Ryan is the Connector (mutually beneficial networking, awards, events, PR, media), and Terra is the Executor (project management, strategic thinking).

But all three of us have strong backgrounds in writing and communications, as well as best business practices, so we work simultaneously on content, strategy, leadership thinking, and more. We’ll all three be deeply engaged in your work (and at meetings), until and unless we discover that becomes inefficient.

We also rely on a carefully curated network of superstar contractors who we turn to when what you most need is something they do better than us. We’ll involve them in meetings and direct correspondence with your team as necessary.

Do you all offer events or retreats?

Yes we do! Take a look at our current offerings for the Radicle Report Retreat. We have both a three-day and one-day intensive option. 

We’re also developing plans for more in-person retreats to support your deeper thinking, and help you shape your company’s story in the future. To stay in touch with us as we announce more, sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

Some of our Likes

Atlanta United

Brene Brown, Adam Grant, Yuval Noah Harari, Carson McCullers, Alice Munro, David Mitchell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Zadie Smith (and many others)

Deep thinking and questioning


Experimental dance

John Fluevog shoes

Live music

Long walks in the woods


Paddle boarding

The Office



Word dorkery

So, how do you three know each other?

As writing enthusiasts and budding journalists, Terra and Tom met in Tallahassee, FL in the late 1990s while writing for the same entertainment and culture magazine. They shared several assignments together and became fast friends. Eventually Tom moved to Atlanta, and Terra moved to San Francisco, but when she was finally ready to come back East, Tom was her co-pilot on an epic cross-country trip.

Eventually, after grad school at FSU and a stint in NYC, Terra also landed in Atlanta (in part because of Tom). Soon after, Tom founded Chronicle, and also co-founded the AJC Decatur Book Festival. He quickly recruited Terra for programming and project management help, which is how she eventually became his Assistant Program Director (and then succeeded him as Program Director).

Along the way, Tom and Terra met Ryan, who at the time was the Public Relations Manager (soon to be PR Director) for the book festival’s marketing agency, Lenz. Ryan brought the right combo of personality and professionalism to the festival’s marketing, and as all three were also cancer survivors, their professional respect and friendship together was fast cemented. (In spite of the fact that Ryan went to UF and Terra went to FSU.)

Fast forward to the mid-2010s, when Ryan and Tom found themselves running their own independent marketing agencies — Ryno Media and Chronicle — with distinct specialties but overlapping capabilities. They began collaborating ad hoc on a handful of shared clients who needed the full breadth of their combined expertise. Finding in the collaboration something more than the sum of their two companies’ parts, Ryan and Tom decided to merge minds and methods to form Rootstock — where they now consult together to expand thought leadership and brand growth for their clients.

After spending several years as a professional young adult author, a marketing team manager, and expert in fundraising events, Terra enthusiastically joined her friends at Rootstock in April 2021, and the team you’re meeting now was fully forged.

(Photo by Genya O’Neall)