There’s Information at Your Fingertips, Use It Wisely

We spend a significant amount of time encouraging others and helping clients create content. The content we produce shows up on their websites, their blogs, their internal communication and their external communication. It even shows up in print when reporters publish excerpts of our press releases. 

There is literally content available at your fingertips. All. Day. Long. From our desks to the hundreds of thousands of content producers, members of the news media and PR people across the globe. How you process that information and use it is up to you, but it's important you know how to distinguish the valuable from the invaluable. 

Gone are the days of saving up for your own set of encyclopedias. Today you can do research from just about anywhere, you don’t even need microfiche to produce a thoughtful piece on a topic you’re unfamiliar with. It’s glorious for some and likely maddening to those invested in the art of thoughtful research.

The phenomenon of instant information isn’t going away, which is incredibly convenient, but it comes with its own set of difficulties. In an age where anyone can be a source of information it’s important to study the source, consider its credibility and use wisdom to decipher your intuitions. 

Not all information is good information and sometimes you’ll read something that immediately sets off a red flag. It’s always wise to seek a second opinion if a source doesn’t seem reliable online. But, when you find a source that’s valuable, trustworthy and easy to read, create a bookmark and use it as a resource. As for the rest, disregard it and (try to) be thankful for our right to free speech. Just because someone says something doesn't make it right and it certainly doesn't make it news. It's up to you to decide. Likewise, it's a real responsibility to create something of value. In fact, it's a good thing to evaluate your organizations content on social media and your regular outlets for external information. If it's not providing value for the intended audience, re-evaluate your communications. If you need help reassessing, ask us. It's what we're here for. 

The media we consume often times becomes the basis for much of the community’s understanding on unfamiliar topics, so as a content creator we work tirelessly to make sure everything we produce provides value but that most importantly it’s factual and not misleading. We have our favorites, but we’d love to hear some of your favorite industry led sources for news right now too. 

We're in this together, the right to free speech comes with a lot of yes, freedom, but it also means we need to be smart consumers of news too. 

Napkins, a New Year & News

Last summer Marcus and I introduced ourselves to an entire new state. We decided to bring together 1,250 people. Not just any 1,250 people, but 1,250 people who liked Gilmore Girls. We thought we'd host a little event in the place that's legend to be the writers' brain child, Washington Depot, CT. This was obviously no small feat in just 7 weeks but it went off without a hitch. Star-studded, fan-filled and at the height of this quaint New England town's busiest month of the year. It was a whirlwind which is why we're just now telling you about it. Once we pitched it to media and made the site, live, the festival sold out in a matter of hours, before the sun set to be accurate. A party planners dream, people wanted to come! We made new friends, other people made new friends and the town smiled on the hoards of fans that took interest in Washington that weekend.

Why would I share it now? Well, partly because I totally forgot to tell you about it on our own platform when it happened and also because we sort of just woke up from the dream that it actually happened. But, mainly because I think 2017 has a lot of potential. For you, for us, for anyone who believes it could be a great year. What started as our third (what we call) "napkin" idea turned into one of the wildest journey's of our life (no, kids don't count--that's even wilder). The full story is on the festival website, but the concept of our "napkin ideas" are the culmination of thoughts we've had that have turned into something big. Over the years, we've reached for a napkin a few times when we're out, when it was the only thing resembling paper within reach. At that point we've always jotted down our thoughts until there's more time and resources to outline something more tangible. Our first napkin idea was actually Seedling Communications, over lunch, in early 2010. As we hit year seven we're reminded that we're (all) capable of a lot more than we think. 

So, let me encourage you to start the year off right. If you're reading this over lunch grab a napkin. Write down a few dreams and if they are still keeping you awake in a few days, take a little more time to outline the reality of your thoughts. You never know what might come from it. In our case, we weren't the only ones who thought the festival was a good idea. In fact, the desire for something we sort of thought was a pie in the sky idea was so far reaching that we had people there from several continents and almost 100 different media outlets. Here's a few stories some of our new friends wrote during and after the festival, it's pretty good stuff. It made us proud. But most of all it gave us confidence to tell you that just about anything is possible. Make 2017 your year. We'd love to cheer you on. 

Gilmore Girls Fan Fest Media Highlights


Washington Post

Broadly (VICE)

ABC News

New York Times

Yahoo! (HelloGiggles as the original source)



Yahoo! (HelloGiggles as the original source)

Babble/Disney (another article will run closer to 11/25)


New York Post




TVLine (posted on Yahoo)

Vanity Fair




Teen Vogue

The Nation

New York Magazine (TheCut)

Seattle Times

ABC News





Wall Street Journal (blog)

Extra Crispy

Elite Daily

New York Daily News

WA Today (Australia)


ABC News

Marie Claire UK

Huffington Post

Travel Pulse


Elle UK

Hartford Courant

New Haven Register

Associated Press

Hartford Courant

Martha Stewart

A Literary Feast

The Odyssey

The Verge


Gilmore News


Woman Around Town

Litchfield Magazine















Seedling Communications Joins Unified Strategies Public Relations

We were asked to join USPR last summer,  as one of it's first members! The release comes a bit delayed as the network grew quickly and additional cities were being added monthly. As we head into the end of the year, if you have a project that needs resources in another part of the country, feel free to reach out even if you want a local agency. Chances are, the best of the best, is within reach nearly anywhere across the globe. For more information about USPR, go to


Seedling Communications Joins Unified Strategies Public Relations

AUSTIN, Texas (July 18, 2016)—Seedling Communications has joined Unified Strategies Public Relations Network (USPR), an international network of independent Public Relations and Marketing Communications professionals.  

Seedling Communications is a full-service communications that works across the country for brands of all shapes and sizes. Their team handles public relations, advertising and marketing for clients cohesively, under one roof, to increase efficiency and maximize results. Seedling works with clients to grow and share companies, organizations and ideas with captive, intended audiences.

“USPR is honored to have Seedling Communications as a newest member,” said Susan Hamburg, CEO of Unified Strategies Public Relations.  “Our network brings together some of the brightest, most talented PR and Marketing Communications professionals in the world in an effort to share expertise, develop new business and provide members with reach well-beyond their traditional territories.” 

With more than 50 members representing every major market in North America, fast-growing USPR was founded by Susan Hamburg of Susan Hamburg Marketing and Public Relations Consultants in Orlando, FL, and Bob Schiers founder of RAS Associates Public Relations in Philadelphia, PA. The two business partners have worked together on numerous client projects that include Fortune 500 companies for more than 10 years. They also have more than 50 years of PR and Marketing experience between them

“We’re very pleased that Seedling Communication is now our USPR member in Austin,” said USPR President and co-founder, Bob Schiers.  Seedling Communications’ membership in USPR not only provides every other member of our network with outstanding resources in Austin but also extends the reach of Seedling Communications throughout North America. Working in concert and drawing upon deep experience and expertise, the network is a formidable and cost-effective force for clients that need PR and Marketing Communications support in virtually every type of business or industry,” Schiers said.

In addition to Marketing and PR agencies with vast local and regional knowledge, another vital part of the USPR network is its bank of prominent experts. Clients benefit from a group of specialists with expertise in areas that include social media and analytics, diversity, millennial marketing, healthcare marketing, design, content development, crisis communications, B2B marketing, media buying, strategic marketing and Hispanic affairs. Some in the group also offers translation services in languages that include Spanish and French. 

As one of the fastest growing communications networks in the world. USPR is still in its growth phase and has plans for expansion into Europe, Mexico, South America and Asia. 


USPR is an international network of independent Public Relations and Marketing Communications firms located throughout North America.  Launched in June 2015, USPR has expanded rapidly and in less than one year has more, than 50 members covering every major market in the United States and Canada, and plans to expand the network to Europe, Mexico, South America and Asia. Co-founded and owned and operated by Susan Hamburg of Orlando, FL and Bob Schiers of Philadelphia, PA, USPR is grounded in local market knowledge, well-earned expertise and an ongoing commitment to integrity – the very cornerstone of its existence. To learn more about USPR go to:








Summer Reading

It's (obviously) not required, but we do have some suggested summer reading for you! 

Each week we post a blog for one of our long-time clients, Texas MedClinic. In fact, if you go to you'll actually find a lot of resources, but to be more specific, we suggest you take a look at their weekly blog posts. There's lots to take in on topics ranging from healthcare to community activities, insurance questions to vaccinations. Use it as a resource, that's what it's there for!

What is PR?

As a small communications agency, we handle advertising, PR and marketing for several brands. Often times we’re asked why public relations is valuable to an organization or brand, so we wanted to share a few thoughts on our blog in case you’ve been wondering the same thing. 

Some companies are wise enough to know public relations is an absolute necessity, while others believe it is something they can do without. For us, we think it’s a no brainer for certain types of organizations, while others may benefit more from a strong ad campaign. (Confused? Ask us!)

According to the Public Relations Society of America, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Well, that certainly sounds fancy, but what does it mean for an individual brand? 

Basically, PR creates connections between an organization or an individual, and the public by using an avenue of (free) media coverage. PR is different from advertising, in that it isn’t “pay to play”. This earned or “free media coverage”, known as editorial coverage, comes via websites, newspapers, magazines, broadcast, blogs, social media and radio programs when a reporter agrees to cover a story we're pitching about one of our clients.

In terms of PR, Forbes describes the field quite well when it says, “We don’t buy ads. We don’t write stories for reporters. We don’t put up billboards. We don’t come up with catchy phrases to make people buy more products they probably don’t need.” This is true, PR isn’t any of these things. PR campaigns work with the goal of promoting clients by building relationships with the media. Over time these relationships create opportunities to promote the client without having to pay for coverage.

Our team works hard to shape and maintain a positive image that positions our clients well in the eyes of their audiences, and the public at large.

How do PR campaigns shape and maintain images for clients? Well, that’s an interesting question with many answers. Here are just a few ways PR works to promote their clients:

News Releases. News releases are one of the most common activities a PR agency does for a client. A news release contains information to help create a captivating news story that shows how the individual, organization, or product is important to the public. The goal is for the media contacts, identified by the agency, to pick up a client’s story and share the key points.

Press Conferences. Press conferences gather many types of media (print, broadcast, and online) together with the goal of sharing the same unique, exciting information to everyone at the same time. In order to increase the likelihood that journalists will attend this info gathering session, press conferences can now be done through Web conferencing with a live stream of video presenting the pertinent information.

Crisis Communication. PR agencies help clients plan ahead for the unknown by creating crisis plans for the day when things go awry. Having someone on hand to offer a quick, professional response to negative information can mitigate the damage done to a client’s image. And, a proactive plan can maintain a brand’s reputation even in times of trouble.

Social Media. Monitoring and creating social media posts for a client is an everyday activity at most PR firms. Nowadays people follow brands on different social media sites around the clock and it is important to have an extra pair of eyes on everything that’s communicated online. Brands ought to make sure they reflect a positive image online and address any negative feedback as soon as possible.

There’s obviously a lot more that falls under the umbrella of PR, but that’s for a face to face meeting with a big cup of coffee. The next time you start looking for a way to strengthen your brand remember that it is our job is to create a good name, maintain a strong image and to provide you with a chance to grow your brand beyond what you thought was possible. In the mean time, if you need help with a short or long term project, let us know. We’re always happy to sit down and chat. 


Hotel Eleven Opens in East Austin

What do you get when a contemporary hotel melds with Austin’s Historic East 11th Street? Hotel Eleven. And, you're going to love it. We loved working on this project and we are so glad to see their doors open! 

Hotel Eleven, Austin’s newest hotel, opened its doors April 4. This 14 room boutique hotel, conveniently located on East 11th Street, is within walking distance to downtown, the Texas Capitol, the University of Texas and many of the city’s best bars and restaurants in Austin’s bustling east side. The project was led by Austinites Mark Vornberg and Shelly Leibham, a husband and wife team, who will continue to oversee the hotels’ operations. 

In the release we sent out to media today Mark was quoted saying, “People come here to get an experience they won’t find anywhere else, so a small boutique hotel, built from scratch, seemed like the perfect fit for Austin." And, he's right. 

With hopes of providing a place that serves its guests and neighbors well, in order to preserve the feel of east Austin, they built the hotel around a model of “hands-on hospitality” with service similar to what one would expect at a bed and breakfast. Hotel Eleven’s owners, Mark and Shelly, pulled from the best of their combined travel experiences to create a place where guests might feel as though they’ve “stayed with a friend.” From the beginning, Mark and Shelly have had a hand in every detail of the project, with Mark as the lead architect from Austin’s renowned Dick Clark + Associates and Shelly serving as general manager tasked with overseeing the day to day operations. 

Hotel Eleven’s contemporary design maintains a sense of warmth and a unique aesthetic that is felt from the lobby to the café, the outdoor spaces to each of its 14 guest rooms. The design of the exterior aims to reflect the dichotomy of the area, contemporary yet historic, amongst rapid growth surrounded by buildings that have been preserved over decades. Each guest room in the hotel is unique, from eclectic light fixtures to colorful wallpaper, with most rooms offering a Juliet balcony with city views. All 14 guest rooms provide luxury plush mattresses, Sferra fine linens, soft Turkish cotton robes, flat screen TVs, contemporary walk-in showers, Lather® personal care amenities, bedside USB ports, complimentary wifi, Soundfreaq Bluetooth clock radios, mini-refrigerators, hair dryers, and in-room safes. Additionally, Hotel Eleven’s junior suites feature free-standing bathtubs. 


Hotel Eleven operates a café serving light plates, coffee and fresh beverages, and a bar serving wine and locally brewed beers for both guests and neighbors. The café and bar will be open to the public giving hotel guests the opportunity to mingle with locals so they can get a true flavor for Austin and the east side. The hotel will be Austin’s only small boutique hotel to offer its guests a rooftop deck featuring 360 degree views of the city, in addition to outdoor patios and courtyards on all three levels. 

Shelly, who will serve as an onsite manager, said in the press release “We are thrilled to finally see our dream come to life with the support of our new neighbors on the east side as well as old neighborhood friends who always made sure we kept the faith. Welcoming our first guests has been an amazing experience. It has validated our decision to create a hotel of this size, and reminded us why we began this adventure.” We've had such a great time watching this project come to fruition and we must say it doesn't disappoint. 

Hotel Eleven is approximately three blocks east of Interstate 35 within walking distance to nationally-renowned Franklin Barbecue, the historic Victory Grill, East Side Pies, Blue Dahlia Bistro, Hillside Farmacy, Sagra Trattoria and Bar, and the Longbranch. 

Come and see it for yourself. For more information go to



Don't Let Your Media Statements Be Misconstrued: Part Two

Last summer I wrote a blog about the importance of messaging in your media interviews, in case you missed it I'll copy it below. The most important takeaway I could emphasize, then and now, is that your media statements and messaging should always be carefully crafted and rehearsed so that they can’t be misunderstood regardless of the interpretation. 

Thankfully (if you're a fan like us) TV magic has occurred, since last summer, bringing Scott Patterson’s conversation with those beloved Gilmore Guys to life. Today Netflix, along with Warner Brothers, is currently filming a revival for the Gilmore Girls in Stars Hollow, I mean Burbank if you’re not a true fan of the show. 

And, now, once again, we’ve all gotten our hopes up with two recent (and completely unrelated) statements made to the media. One from the writers themselves and one from Sutton Foster who plays a small role in the revival. 

Here are the links to both interviews. We’ll be curious to see if these slips of the tongue were in fact carefully planted seeds or just comments to give their very large, and growing audience, hope for more in the years to come. 

Sutton Foster’s “probably not on this round” reply to the question of whether or not she’ll film more scenes can be viewed here,, leaving us to wonder..."wait, is there more to come?!"

And, Dan Palladino’s reply to whether or not this is the last time we’ll see Lorelai, Rory and Emily, can be read here, leaving a glimmer of hope that if all goes well we may get even more Gilmore in our world.

We’ll see what happens next, but in the mean time, our strongest advice (in case you’re not as lucky as the writers and cast of Gilmore Girls with a slew of devoted and forgiving fans), is to create messaging and stick to it when the time comes to talk to media. Think through the questions you might be asked and brainstorm your responses so you’re not caught off guard. And, if you need to ask us a question, feel free to send us a note

All for now. -Jennie

Here’s the original post that is (see previous blog) lost in the abyss of internet blogs from old websites.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend The Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX TV Festival. Without contest, this has been my absolute favorite series to watch and revisit over the past decade and the media coverage leading up to the reunion did an incredible job of reminding the fans why we loved the show and its characters so much. If you haven’t read about the reunion at some point in the past few months, I’m just going to assume you were unplugged on a fabulous vacation somewhere on a remote island.  

ATX TV Festival-The Gilmore Girls Reunion

For my fellow fans, I want to tell you that it was surreal and amazing. Marcus and I were in the right place at the right time minutes before the Friday Night Lights screening outside of Hotel San Jose when the world’s greatest (what?! I already told you I am a devoted fan) fictional band, Hep Alien, made an entrance and played a surprise set. Coincidently, we were standing towards the back of the crowd when my favorite fellow (TV, not real life) twin parents, Lane (Keiko Agena) and Zach (Todd Lowe) along with their sons godfather, Brian (John Cabrera), exited the hotel’s side entrance a bit later that evening. What a treat to grab a quick photo opp, and that was just the beginning of the weekend. 

HepAlien at the ATX Festival June 2015

The next night, as I waited for the doors of the Paramount Theatre to open, one by one, the cast arrived on the red carpet, literally an arms length in front of me at times. There, right before my eyes, were so many of my favorite cast members. I saw the real-life people behind the characters of Jackson, Michele, Logan, Dean, Jess, Rory, Lorelei, Luke, Emily, Paris and Miss Patty. I’m still so pleased this really happened and I got to witness it. 

ATX TV Festival Gilmore Girls Reunion with Matt Czuchry

Minus the stampede that evoked mass hysteria for a few moments after the beginning of the line was established, which was expected, and the handful of ambulance rescues that came for the out-of-town girls fainting in the Texas heat, the reunion was incredible and full of emotion for the crowd. There were cheers, tears and laughter as we all soaked up the memories of Stars Hollow with the cast and creator. To see a slightly edited reunion for yourself, go to

The Gilmore Girls Reunion at the ATX TV Festival

The reason why I believe this event created a teachable moment in our line of work is the lesson about the significance of carefully delivering your message to the media at all times, no matter how small the media outlet or how insignificant you think the conversation might be in the grand scheme of things. 

In a recent interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast leading up to the festival, Scott Patterson “Luke,” whose character I love, innocently mentioned that there have been some conversations when asked about the potential for a Gilmore Girls movie. With the reunion ahead, this allowed millions of fan hopefuls to believe there may actually be a movie in the works. In fact, I thought the festival might be the platform for an announcement. To be more specific, in the interview Scott said, “there are talks going on at the moment.” He later said, “I can’t really go into any details, but there is some activity. I’m hopeful, and I’m in. I think it would be a big event, and I think it would be a great fan celebration.” 

All these things are true, lots of people are talking about a movie and there is activity. Unfortunately, as we found out Saturday those talks aren’t amongst the people that can make it happen nor is the activity coming from the show’s creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s pen. As he clarified at the reunion, when he sort of apologetically admitted that he got so many fans excited by one statement on a podcast that didn’t really have that much merit. It seemed as though there are always talks about a movie and he didn’t want to say there weren’t “people” talking about it.  He followed up with his hopes for a movie himself by saying “It’s kinda time, don’t you think?” No hard feelings Scott, you’re just the example in today’s lesson on crafting an explicit message when it comes to dealing with the media. 

More to the point, when it comes to media relations, you have to say what you mean and mean what you say, every, single time. Your words, when spoken to the media, live long after they’re said in an interview. They show up in print and/or broadcast, only moments before they are spread across social media platforms to be reposted time and time again. Most people know not to make “off the record” comments you’d rather not see printed, but sometimes you have to go a step further and say exactly what you mean so it doesn’t get misconstrued, even if it’s the truth. Just ask Luke’s on-screen love interest, Lorelei Gilmore, how she learned the hard way in season 5, episode 21 when referencing her mom, Emily Gilmore, in an interview not knowing those off-color remarks would be printed in a story about the Dragonfly Inn.

Here are a few articles highlighting my illustration from around the web. There are likely dozens more where these came from. Like I said, everyone seemed to be talking about this event.  

Hinting at a Gilmore Girls Movie

The Truth Comes Out

Sadly, Amy Sherman-Palladino put the rumors to rest this weekend saying "I'm sorry, there's nothing in the works at the moment. But here's the good thing: Nobody here hates each other; that's a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. Right format, timing, budget. It would have to be honored in a certain way. If it ever came around, I think we would all jump in and do it." That’s when the entire cast nodded in agreement. As for the format, Amy Sherman-Palladino said she didn't know, "because it's not real,"but she promised that if it did, "we'll do it correctly."

Most of the time, when you say something you don’t mean and it gets relayed to an attentive audience it creates much more of a problem than a fun, fan frenzy. That’s why it’s important to get media training ahead of your interviews, to have talking points ready, to know what you need to emphasize and which details you need to share. It’s also important to anticipate questions you might be asked so you have an answer ready that’s not only is true, but is delivered with clarity. In short, our job is to handle the nuances of media relations, so you can do what you do best. 

The lesson here is that fans, eager to hear what they want, were listening to Scott’s every word ahead of the reunion, and likely your loyal brand ambassadors, customers, clients, patients or fans are too. While a movie teaser sure drummed up some excitement (and nearly broke the internet), it could have easily been a PR stunt to increase the excitement and anticipation for the reunion. Most brands don’t get so lucky when saying statements in an interview that could be misleading, they get called out and penalized. So while this was all in good fun and, by my account, the only ones who got hurt were the fans that passed out from the Texas heat, in nearly every other instance it’s crucial to stick to the facts and hone in on the messaging that leads to clear conclusions in your media interviews. 

(And yes, in case you’re wondering, it was thrilling for me to write a blog post on the Gilmore Girls and call it work!)


Big Brands Need Little Agencies

Over the weekend I came across a quick read titled “Why Big Brands Hire Small Agencies” and thought, well said Mrs. Blogger. I mean, I get it. It’s our life and we live and breathe this logic, but we rarely put it into words unless we’re asked about our size. 

We’re nimble and we’re on your side, big brands. Why? Because we value organizations with good people behind them who yearn for success. We know how to reach the right audiences and we don’t have to wait for approval. 

Big agencies oftentimes have long pipelines, we just have conjoined desks so quick thinking has an opportunity to be just that. We respond to your customers quickly, we distribute information as soon as you need us to and we are available at just about any time of day. 

All that, plus transparency. In a small agency you know who is working for you, because we’re the ones picking up the phones, taking the client meetings, writing the documents and designing your next campaign. We aren’t outsourcing or assigning tasks to anyone else. What you see is what you get and if you have a question all you have to do is ask us. 

Here’s the article I mentioned above,, and the bullet points from the article, if you’re interested go ahead and click on the link. It’ll back up the information, I just thought I’d share their own reasons for choosing a small agency, like Seedling Communications for your next PR, advertising or marketing campaign.  

  • Big brands need partners for smaller, project-based work.
  • Big brands want specialists.
  • Big brands want results, faster.
  • Big brands are looking for deeper insight.
  • Big brands want a partner willing to take risks.
  • Big brands care about culture.

Curious about what we can do? Let’s grab coffee. We can tell you about our work at big agencies and then share what we’ve been doing here for the past six years. 

"Let's get together, yeah, yeah, yeah!" -Jennie

Out With the Old, In With the New

I am admittedly not the techie one around here. And, the one who is has been too busy with client work to migrate the past six years of our blogs to the new site.

So, until further notice, our old blog is floating around internet "outer space" and I'm sorry. It was riveting, trust me. But, rather than keep you waiting, I decided to throw in the towel on figuring out blog "code" and start fresh on our new site. After all, surely you've read everything you needed to from our old blog. If you haven't just ask, I can tell you everything you need to know about the agency since that wonderful day in March 2010 when we took a leap of faith to pursue our dreams in order to help you strengthen yours. 

I hope you'll join me here now for client musings, industry based-content and agency milestones. Out with the old, in with the new. 

Happy reading! -Jennie

A New Look

We've been so busy supporting our clients that we haven't taken the time to update our own site for a few years. It sort of feels like a new haircut right now. We like the look, but there's going to be growing pains as we settle in. We're migrating our blog, so you will be able to read our archives from the past six years soon.