Everyone’s communication could use a little help from time to time. For organizations – with many different people to reach, all of whom have unique information interests and needs – it can get extra challenging.
At Puzzlewood, we’ll work with you to figure out how to tell your great news. To talk about your complex technology or product. To articulate the value you offer. And sometimes, unfortunately, we’ll be there to help you communicate through the ugly stuff you wish wasn’t happening.
Communication, marketing, and digital strategies and tactical plans you can afford and execute, in-house or with some extra hands-on support. We also love to facilitate strategic planning sessions, online and in-person.
Integrated services and support to ensure you’re telling a consistent story – one that’s customized to land with your internal and external audiences. Public & Media Relations, Investor Relations, Customer Relations, Employee Communication, Social media, Multimedia.
Proposals, announcements, briefing notes, website copy, marketing collateral, presentations, speeches: we put your thoughts, ideas, complex technologies, and more, into words and pictures that resonate.
In-the-thick-of-it advice, counsel, and hands-on practical support. Sometimes, we’ll even hold your hand or get you a drink because that’s just what you need in the moment.
Community and stakeholder outreach to share information, raise awareness and understanding, gather input, build support, and create shared value.
Development opportunities for you and your team, including media training, presentation messaging and performance prep, leadership communication coaching, and mentoring young communication professionals.
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We like variety, learning, and good people. We run a values-based business, with a non-negotiable commitment to being open, curious, and kind. If we are jerks, we call each other out. We like to have fun at work.
Our clients come from across industries and sectors, including academia, cleantech, energy, engineering services, Indigenous government, life sciences, responsible resource development and recovery, and transportation.
Rebecca Johnston formed Puzzlewood in 2008 and in 2021, joined forces with friend and former Ballard Power Systems colleague, Megan Helmer. Megan used to run a niche PR firm and is skilled in many ways Rebecca isn’t. Good news for everyone.
When projects need extra sleeves-rolled-up support, we have talented freelancers on our roster. They thrive doing media outreach, social media management, content creation, design wizardry, and more. Need animation? We’ll connect you to the genius behind our cartoon in a flash.
Our fee schedule is simple, and we operate with a low overhead. We want you to pay for the value we deliver, not our office space.
Becki is the best communications professional I know, and I seek her advice in a variety of communications-related organizational and professional activities. Becki developed and executed a strategic communication plan for a large, complex project I managed at a previous organization. Her work across different media was absolutely transformative. The lightness of touch she brings through her wit and sense of humor was also perfect for my team. Becki’s strong command of language, eye for visual design, experienced understanding of organizational dynamics, and exceptional emotional intelligence allows her to help clients communicate internally and externally in ways that are game-changing for them.
Elizabeth Adams, Princeton University
As a small firm with a lot of time and personnel constraints, we needed someone to whom we could pass along loads of technical data, explain our goals, and get back completed marketing items with minimal back and forth. Rebecca was able not only to fully grasp our technical info, but she translated it for each of our markets without losing detail or making it too technical. She helped us create a new website, marketing and technical brochures, informational banners, and found us an amazing photographer to work with as well. Her management of subcontractors took a huge load off our plate and enabled us to create an entirely new marketing program in time for a large international trade show. I would recommend Puzzlewood to anyone that needs well-written, well-thought out communications pieces, especially if you need to distill technical information into interesting copy. Rebecca is quick, on top of the details and delivers great work.
rob nathan, bionic power
Rebecca is a consummate professional who I have had the honor of working with for nearly 20 years. As the UIDP's CEO, I've leaned on Rebecca to serve as a trusted and honest voice to help us advance our goals. She was also central to helping us create a full-time position to manage communications for our group and work herself out of work! She is someone I can depend on when needed to successfully accomplish important projects.
Anthony Boccanfuso, UIDP
I rarely come across real talents who stand out like Megan. I have had the pleasure of working with Megan for the past three years, collaborating on several projects. She has an excellent ability to strategically approach projects and quickly make sense of difficult science, which is difficult to find in life sciences. She consistently delivers high quality counsel and strategic guidance that we have been able to successfully implement. Megan is a communications and public relations expert, and I highly recommend her.
Julia White, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Rebecca has done a masterful job in refining our group’s marketing strategy, value proposition, and communication strategies. Through a number of various strategic planning, communication, and marketing initiatives, Rebecca has deftly guided our group towards shaping our identity and building a customer base that we are incredibly proud of today. She is one of my most valued colleagues.
Jeff Mayer, Arrow Environmental
Rebecca is imaginative, creative and talented, but always keeps the goal in mind. She often says, “What’s the message?” keeping us focused on what we want to achieve, not what sounds fun to do!
chris white, frontier energy
I recommend Puzzlewood for all manner of professional communications. Over a five-year period, I came to trust Rebecca’s ability to create everything I needed, from full communication strategies to public presentations and promotional collateral. Very early on, Rebecca understood the tone and intention of my previous organization’s story and supported the development of that story publicly and for our most important audiences. Even better, not only did we get the work done, we had a lot of laughs doing it together.
laurie sterritt, leaders international
So much of the marketing industry is hype. We’ve seen it all: blown budgets, wildly mismatched expectations, missed deadlines, you name it. Not with Rebecca. She’s as sharp and creative as they come, but you can always trust that her recommendations and counsel come from a practical place, with business goals in mind. It’s a rare combination, but one she displays on every project.
Adam Smartschan, Altitude Marketing
I have known and worked with Megan for over a decade and can wholeheartedly endorse her skills and expertise. She is an excellent strategist, able to see the big picture and develop a plan to reach goals. And she is a skilled tactician able to execute a strategic plan with a great attention to detail.
Ira Gostin, Gostin Strategic
Puzzlewood is experienced and knowledgeable in the Life Science space and quickly understood our story. Megan and Rebecca have a knack for drilling down to the essence of the message while retaining the integrity of our science. So far, they’ve helped us develop our Communications strategy, elevated our LinkedIn, and drafted important content pieces. They are a trusted and honest voice to help us advance our goals.
Greg Block, Notch Therapeutics
Puzzlewood was recommended to us by a trusted TSAARM colleague and we worked with Becki and her team to update our corporate logo and website. Becki was able to seamlessly integrate our thoughts and words into outputs that capture the essence of our values and beliefs. She worked hard from the start to understand and interpret the key elements of our company and our emotional connection with our brand and our clients. This talent of hers guarantees we will be turning to her again in the future. It was an absolute pleasure working with Puzzlewood!
George Jennings, TSAA Resource Management
Working with Rebecca is such a treat, I cannot recommend her more highly. Not only is she fun to work with, enthusiastic, and engaged, she is smart as a whip and excellent at what she does. Rebecca helped us put together a presentation for a critical conference. She took a bunch of disparate, ultra-nerdy, overly-detailed, and meandering ideas, and helped us hone them into a coherent and engaging story. She has a unique knack for being able to drill down to the essence of the message, no matter how technical the subject matter, and re-frame it in a more engaging way that your audience will relate to better.
Amy nelson, AVL Fuel Cell Canada Inc.
Rebecca offers expert solutions that are relevant and timely. She has assisted our team, with both long- and short- term projects, in creative and compassionate ways. I highly recommend Rebecca for communications strategy, messaging and collateral as she brings her 'A' game to every endeavour and it shows.
Michelle Nahanee, Professional Communicator / Indigenous Changemaker
I’ve worked closely with Rebecca and respect her unwavering dedication to detail; polished, quality communications that serve a strategic purpose; and commitment to measuring outcomes so that outputs are truly evaluated on their effectiveness. It’s often easy to get sidelined by what’s easy or trendy, but Rebecca consistently employs the key principles of good communications: probing to better understand the issue at hand, target audience, objectives, as well as the risks and challenges inherent in every project. Rebecca is a creative problem-solver and the most diligent communicator I’ve ever known—she’s relentless in the pursuit of results for her clients. Don’t pass up the chance to make Rebecca part of your team. She’ll quickly become the star player.
tracy bains, digital marketing strategist
One thing that sets Puzzlewood apart from other firms is Rebecca’s technical knowledge. I can completely trust she will keep the integrity of what we’ve spent so much time trying to write while making the improvements needed to make it read better. I know VERY few firms who can do that
patrick serfass, technology transition corporation
Rebecca has an incredible talent to take raw information and translate it into powerful, impactful messages and stories. She asks the right questions and brings information to life to meet her clients’ needs. Rebecca creates magic with words: always eloquent while keeping it real. You can really “feel” what she writes.
nadine israel, bc hydro
Rebecca was brought in as a consultant to help EXP in Western Canada define and refine its strategic direction and goals. Having to do this across only remote/virtual platforms presented a challenge, but Rebecca and her team at Puzzlewood came up with a novel solution which worked well, so well in fact the EXP team feedback was more positive that previous attempts to do the same thing in person. EXP will continue working with Rebecca and the Puzzlewood team as the value-added and cost-ratio are far in excess of the accepted normal.... They understand our business and produce 'fit for purpose' results far beyond expectations.
Iain Ward, EXP
Megan has been an excellent communications resource for us. Her many years' experience working in science-based communications is a great benefit. She has been able to help us with a broad spectrum of communications projects and I would recommend her highly.
Kathryn Hayashi, TRIUMF Innovations
I’ve worked with Puzzlewood team members for many years. Over the years, Megan (and more recently, Rebecca), have delivered high quality counsel and strategic guidance. They are also excellent in rolling up their sleeves to help us implement our communication strategies, from writing high-quality pieces, to managing events, to media outreach. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
Barry Gee, admare bioinnovations
We're good humans and believe there’s always something to be learned from others. If you're the same, we want to work with you!
Our small group of much-loved, repeat clients keeps us busy but we love to hear about new projects! There are always opportunities to move things around in our calendars, and we can scale up fast too. Call or email and let’s start a conversation.