Interview today with Hugh Burnham, CEO of Silicon Valley-based Lumina Communications.
Can you tell us a bit about Lumina Communications?
Lumina Communications is a B2B tech public relations firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Manhattan, New York. Lumina’s team of driven PR professionals are passionate, creative and determined to help businesses differentiate and win in crowded markets. With specialized expertise in public relations, social media, creative and content marketing, Lumina’s PR campaigns have led to IPOs or strategic acquisition exits yielding enterprise value well in excess of $30B. Our team helps businesses develop strong brands and capture the media spotlight to achieve their strategic objectives.
Sharp insights form the foundation of a successful communications strategy and create powerful thought leadership. Lumina approaches content marketing holistically to inform all aspects of a company’s communications strategy to engage customers in meaningful dialogue rather than “sell” to them. This includes carefully developing unique story angles and market opinions based on recent trends and the specific pain points of customers. Social media has become a powerful tool for businesses, even in business to business markets. The lines today between personal and professional have become sufficiently opaque, and the team at Lumina understands that social media marketing has become a critical weapon to reach powerful influencers.
The agency was founded on a solid financial core and has grown steadily throughout the last 13 years. Lumina has experienced tremendous revenue growth over the last few years, reaching $4.5M in 2019 revenue and over $5M in 2020 revenue.
How have you shaped Lumina’s business to best support and benefit your B2B clients?
Lumina works with well-heeled startups and larger companies alike. Clients include some of the most innovative and advanced technology companies in the world, many of them based in Silicon Valley. Within Lumina’s three segments of domain expertise: Enterprise, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Management, our team holds significant domain expertise. Lumina provides strategic planning, competitive brand positioning, messaging development, corporate thought leadership, and content marketing implementation guidance for clients.
Lumina prioritizes media relations and client relations in order to develop positive and lasting relationships between the media and our clients. Our team provides value to industry tech and business journalists by offering key sources from Lumina’s client roster around breaking news, industry trends, and higher-level story ideas. Lumina’s employees are passionate about helping businesses develop unique brands and capture the media spotlight through impactful PR campaigns that grow revenue and reputation for clients. His creative mindset allows him to generate unique strategies that are relevant to the current news cycle.
What are some of Lumina’s greatest accomplishments over the past year? What have you and Lumina had to overcome since Covid-19?
Lumina Communications achieved 15 percent growth in 2020, despite the pandemic headwinds. The firm has added 22 clients this year, mostly during the pandemic. Lumina has also overseen communications for several of its clients who have been acquired for over $1B in value, including Crypsis, SaltStack , Kasten and Panda Security.
Lumina recently onboarded new accounts across three practice areas: cybersecurity, infrastructure management and enterprise software. From digital manufacturing to software as a service, real-time health monitoring to electric vehicles, mobile app security to threat detection, Lumina is helping startups grow their customer base, increase valuation and then supporting them through successful exits.
How has Covid-19 transformed your business and services?
During the past year specifically, our executive team has demonstrated their ability to adapt to an all digital environment. Lumina’s business efforts to meet the specific set of challenges clients faced through the COVID-19 disruption. With the help of my business partners, Lumina and its employees were able to quickly pivot to meet the new realities of the pandemic by shifting media strategy and focus. The result? Lumina is proud to have gained 22 new clients in 2020 alone.
How has Lumina helped its clients navigate through the challenges surrounding Covid-19?
When the outlook abruptly changes, future projections can collapse and traditional tools fail. Having the agility to change and to implement responses on the fly becomes essential.
What trends do you anticipate to see in tech PR in 2021?
Moving into 2021, PR agencies must stay abreast of a shifting media landscape where new online publications, product influencers, and social media outlets are surfacing, morphing, and disappearing almost daily. It also means that new opportunities for presenting information, including webinars, videos, virtual tours, and remote interviews, are now readily available and need to be constantly evaluated for their suitability for each client and each news item being crafted.
The lines between marketing, public relations, social media and other elements will continue to blur. At our company, it is common to be hired for a media relations program which includes social media or other digital elements as part of the campaign.
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