New Team Members Added to Female-Owned Communications Firm

Amp Team Fall 2019

Akron, OH (Sept. 3, 2019) — Today, Amp Strategy announced its new growth with the addition of Meghan Meeker, joining the team after her work as the social media manager at the University of Akron, and Lindsey Phillips, a specialist in operations with a background in corporate banking and nonprofit communications, added her skills to the team earlier this summer.

Based in Akron, Amp Strategy is a female-owned communications and marketing firm working with diverse clients—ranging from local businesses and regional nonprofits to large manufacturers and national foundations. Through marketing strategy, creative content, media relations, and communication services, the team helps to amplify the authentic voices of organizations and places.

“Three years ago, my partner Morgan and I had an idea for a communications and marketing firm that valued real authenticity, purposeful and positive engagement, and innovative relationships for clients,” states Kat Pestian, partner and co-founder of Amp Strategy. “We quickly learned that Akron loves entrepreneurs, and we found a community of risk-takers and innovators who champion new beginnings and continued growth.”    

Now, with five full-time staff members, a large pool of freelancers, and a new office in downtown Akron’s Everett Building, Amp is thrilled to welcome Meghan and Lindsey to its team. Plus, the team has plans for two more hires by the end of the calendar year.

Morgan Lasher, partner and co-founder of Amp Strategy, shares that the core of Amp Strategy’s work is engagement.  

“We help our clients build connections with the communities they serve, and our new growth path, thanks to Meghan and Lindsey, will be a strategic one, aimed at delivering strategies and plans for engagement in even more exciting and effective ways for our clients,” shares Morgan.

At Amp, Meghan’s responsibilities will include her role as a client relationship manager for community engagement clients and supporting social strategy work. Lindsey’s responsibilities range from operating support and accounting to content creation and data analysis for clients.

How to Prepare for your Photoshoot

We all have that friend. The one that’s blinking in photos or laughing when everyone else is smiling perfectly—and I’m that friend. The one that makes people retake a photo three times and then never seems to know what to do with my hands.

 Because of this (lifelong) experience, I’ve put together a quick checklist to make sure you’re dressed and ready for your photos—and feeling confident— even if you know you’ll be the one blinking!

Here are five quick tips on dressing for a photoshoot:

  1. Comfortable & Authentic: The first thing I will tell you is to be comfortable, and just look like yourself. If you are the person who wears a concert tee and jeans every day, wear it. Photos are extension of you and in this work, we aim to create authenticity. People want to see you and gravitate towards those who are truly comfortable.

  2. Easy on Patterns: Be gentle on the patterns (unless you’re the Hawaiian shirt guy) and keep them very simple. In photography, the “Moiré effect,” for example, happens when thin strips close together create a secondary rippling pattern on camera.

  3. Colors: Don’t be afraid of colors, especially jewel tones. Solid, vibrant colors look the best on camera. Try not to wear stark white or unless it’s under something, such as a suit jacket, cardigan, or sweater. Also try to avoid pastels, unless worn under a darker jacket. Lighting during photoshoots can be bright and can wash out light colors.

  4. Framing Your Face: Collared shirts are often recommended by photographers because they can frame the face. If you’re having trouble with a look, start with a collared shirt and then layer with a blazer. You can also frame your face with jewelry.

  5. Pressed & Clean: Whatever you wear, make sure it’s pet-hair free and ironed! (Or have photoshop built-in to your photography contract!)


Handy-Dandy Press Release Template (This one’s for you, eBay panel friends!)



Place Your Logo Here

Media Contact Info
Insert name
Insert title
Insert company
Insert phone number 

 *Note: Your media contact should be someone ready to speak to the press on behalf of your organization. It should also be someone available to take calls from reporters on deadline (so pretty immediately) as opposed to an executive who is not easily reached.


*Note: your headline should be in all capital letters, kept around 150 characters, and not be in sentence form. Write it as if it’s going on the front page of the paper!

Subhead is not always necessary, but sits right under the headline, explaining it in more detail.

City, State (Month Day, Year) – You have this paragraph to wow the reporter, so get to the point, friends! Why does the reader care? Who and what is it about? When is it taking place? Try to keep it around two sentences that focus on the most important information to convey. If the reader isn’t impressed by this paragraph, they won’t keep reading. Remember, “if it bleeds, it leads.”  

You’ve won their interest—whoo! Now it’s time for your information. Use this paragraph to explain in greater detail any history or facts that make your announcement special or beneficial.

This paragraph can be used to tell more of your story. Any data that backs up your information? It’s also important to remember try to keep your release to ONE page.

“This is where the heart of your release enters,” said Kat Pestian, partner at Amp Strategy. “Include a quote from someone invested in the content you’re releasing. It most likely will include a company executive, but could also be a satisfied customer/someone who loves you and your work, or a community-loved public figure who’s an expert on this topic. A release can also contain quotes from a few folks, but try not to put them next to each other.”  

Use this last paragraph before the boilerplate to summarize your release. Give the reader a call to action, a place to go or person to call if they want more information. Make them want to jump with this paragraph!

# # #

*Note: The close symbol (# # #) above indicates your press release has ended.

About (insert company name): The last paragraph of a press release is known as a “boilerplate," and it is designed to provide a brief overview of your company and products. It’s your elevator speech, and can have facts, links to websites and social pages. Anything you’d share with someone about your company in 45 seconds or less, friends.


by Kat Pestian

It’s called “the jump,” that moment when a would-be entrepreneur stands terrified at the top of a dark cliff and inches toward its uncertain edges. And when you finally gather the courage, you close your eyes—and jump—hoping you’ll find your wings, trusting you’ll recognize the ground you land on, and praying the entire time that you’ve made the right decision for yourself and your family.

But the jump? That’s the easy part.

Entrepreneurship, as it turns out, is a series of jumps, then climbs, then walks that turn into runs, then more jumps. But it’s that first jump that really sets the stage. It prepares you to fall and then teaches you just how much your heart can hold.  Risk-taking is a like a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Today, I celebrate my jump. I call it my “Jumpiversary”—my first full-time year of entrepreneurship with our company, Amp Strategy, and this beautiful, Geronimo-screaming life.

And during this first year, here are top four things I’ve learned:

1. My business partner is wicked smart.

Because we’re business partners and sisters, Morgan and I joke with clients that we’ve been preparing for our branding work for more than 30 years—when we had to name our first dog.

I knew my sister was smart growing up (she’s the one who could calculate percentages while shopping faster than anyone) but I never knew she was wicked smart. In the same breath when she’s strategically thinking in the clouds, she’s managing a to-do list to bring those clouds right to you.

She’s also one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. No joke; she leaves the upfront parking space for other people because she wants them to enjoy it.

And she finds joy when others see darkness. I’ve learned from her this year how much beauty can be held in the imperfect parts of life…if you look for it.

Morgan loves to push boundaries and she has taught me to crave that slightly uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach—the one I used to run from—but now signifies the very thing I should be running toward.

2. Akron freaking loves entrepreneurs.  

This city is everything. The community and its people encourage passion of all kinds. If you’re an avid bike-rider, artist, cat-lover or entrepreneur, it’s easy to find others who ignite and inspire you, because they are looking for you, too.

The risk-takers and innovators welcome you, even on the days when you feel like you’re not cut out for the brave entrepreneur party that never stops. To the encouragers of Akron, thank you for your voice and being such champions of new beginnings.

3. Cheering is vital.

In my previous job, I had an incredible team. They were the people who—unbeknownst to them—almost stopped my jump. As I arrived at the edge of the entrepreneurial cliff, I just stood there. I looked back and saw this beautiful team of people, those I was leaving, actually cheering for me. Not saying, “We can’t believe you’re leaving us,” but cheering. Loudly. And I have to tell you how easy it would have been to run back to them.

But the cheers encouraged me, and the skills I’d learned from them gave me the courage to jump.

Now at Amp, we get to be the ones on the other side, cheering for our entrepreneurial clients who’ve also become our friends, and giving them renewed energy and insights to jump in new and exciting ways.

4. My tribe.

Being a new-ish momma to a toddler and five rescue animals, an entrepreneur with a passion for community involvement, a wife of an incredible husband who travels a bit for work—the question I love to answer is, “How do you do it?”

And my answer is always the same: “I have a good tribe.”

Yesterday, my parents handed me a bag of pajamas for my kiddo because I mentioned in a causal conversation last week that he was outgrowing his. My mom-in-law is going through chemo treatments, but still managed to come up this past weekend to watch our son, while my father-in-law stocked our fridge because it “looked a bit empty” (not a chef, here!), and my girlfriends, who’ve given me their love, encouragement and grace even when I don’t deserve it (sometimes you think you’ve responded to a text but just forgot to press send).

More than anything, this year has taught me that by staying positive and values-based—and surrounding yourself with supportive people—you can create the life you want. Really want.

The life where you don’t always have to miss breakfast with your kiddo or the life where you get to speak on a panel about being a part of an all-female-owned business. The life that when someone says to you, “Don’t keep a job just because you need insurance,” you get to really listen.

Here’s to entrepreneurship and the jumpers who’ve found their wings. Here’s to making the rules and learning fiercely when to break them. Here’s to my Amp partner, my tribe, my city, my husband and my son who makes me extra, extra brave. And here’s to you—if you’re thinking about making a jump, you’ve got a team of people in the City of Akron ready to encourage and ignite you.


Language as Thought

My new friend from Paris tells me
we think of friendship differently.
"Friends are of
more consequence to me,"
he says.

He reserves an entire verb
conjugation for friends.
Perhaps he would start this poem,
"A woman I met from Akron tells me..."

Language bounds thinking.
(I think.)

Are we missing the depths of concepts, too,
thanks to our own binding dictionary?

Like the Arabic "ya'arburnee"
defined as the hopeful declaration
that I might leave the world
before my love.
"May you bury me."

And could we all have words
like the German "kummerspeck?"
("Excessive weight gained from emotional overeating")
By literally naming it "grief bacon,"
is its mental load lighten
by language alone?

Maybe the A.I. machines
will figure out an ideal earthly language
and teach us humans how to talk
and think

By Morgan Lasher

Sister, Sister

By Morgan Lasher

We’ve been working together for over three decades—if you include bouts about riding in the front passenger seat, compromising on names for pets, and sharing a closet. That was hard. We think that counts.

We’re sisters. In addition to the childhood preparation to be good business partners, we were also prepared for marketing careers since the womb. Mom worked on her Ph.D. while we were in elementary school and practiced her marketing lectures with us at the dinner table. Dad, an advertising exec turned entrepreneur, is a grammar enthusiast who has actually reminded us on more than one occasion that a puppy dies if a possessive apostrophe is used incorrectly. He says it with a smile—and not a maniacal one—but we will forever trust that correct grammar is a ginormous deal.

They’re both branding nuts, and their babies are branding nuts, too.

Okay. We’ll prove it with our more LinkedIn-inspired bios here.