About

Combine knowledge with grassroots, and you have Focus.​

It all started in 2002.

In 2002, Sue and Dean Heuman opened a little company in a business centre on Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton. They shared a boardroom, photocopier, and a receptionist with the other startups. The receptionist answered the Focus phones, even though it was just the two of them—Dean and Sue—and a few clients, notably the City of Edmonton and United Cycle.

A few years later, Focus hired its first employee. Both owners were working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The company was just beginning. But working day and night was unsustainable. Despite being a startup, they hired one part-time person. This was a big step forward, as Dean and Sue have always felt responsible for their staff.

In the early 2000s, RONA contracted Sue and Dean to open its first Alberta big box store. Soon Focus was opening RONA stores all over Alberta and training other agencies outside the province.

When a store opens, the day starts around six in the morning and lasts until four in the afternoon. It’s a lot of logistics, speeches with local appeal, and photo ops that translate into media stories.

Focus’s next major client was Ford of Canada. Ford, through another PR firm, hired firms across Canada to find innovative ways to pitch stories to the media and get Ford products in the news. As part of this program, Focus was the number one producing PR agency in Canada for four years.

Focus pitched a piece about pothole season one spring and quickly discovered potholes are an Edmonton story. The city is built on clay and had about 600,000 potholes every year. By comparison, Calgary had about 6,000. The story went national, with Weather Network coverage. Service people from Edmonton Ford dealers were on the air advising drivers how to navigate potholes.

From opening stores and earning media coverage, the company expanded to manage large events (including the Edmonton Airshow). It facilitated public engagement for many large and small municipal projects, including Edmonton’s South Light Rail Transit, which opened in 2010. Year after year, Focus grew its expertise and expanded its client list to offer a full suite of communications and marketing services. Focus emphasizes strategy, which underpins all successful marketing, communications, PR, and public engagement.

Today

Today, Focus Communications is a 12-person team with inhouse marketing, social media, PR, graphic design, video, and writing services.

The little company that could manages stakeholder relations for the Valley Line Southeast—a $1.8 billion construction project that is the largest infrastructure project in Edmonton’s history.

Over the years, Sue and Dean have learned what works. They bring that expertise to every project. On every assignment, you’ll find either Sue or Dean.

Combine knowledge with grassroots, and you have Focus.

Today, the team has a larger office, with its own boardroom. It’s still an on-the-ground communications and marketing firm that offers personal, one-to-one service.