brad wedeking

Brad Wedeking on building a communication team and employee advocacy at Kiewit

When Brad started working with Kiewit 10 years ago, they didn't have an actual communication team.

Now the company's Online Media Manager, Brad Wedeking explains that when he started, “Communications was kind of a new thing at Kiewit. We didn't have a true department at that time.” His responsibilities fell under the branch of business development.

With a background in web development, web coding, public relations, and brand management, Brad worked as the company's communication specialist and then in a visual media role before being promoted to his current position. He had the unique experience of being part of Kiewit's first communication team, now five to six years old.

“Over the course of years at Kiewit, they saw how a tried and true communication department was absolutely a necessity.”

While we may not ever directly impact that bottom line, we can certainly impact decisions that impact that bottom line.

The company began to appreciate the importance of a having a communication team and the impact it could have on their business. “They brought in some key leadership for our team that helped us put together what we needed to do,” Brad explains.

Today, the communication team has four buckets: the online visual media team, the external affairs team, the creative services team, and the employee communication team. Brad heads the online visual media team, and they tackle Kiewit's social media presence.

Brad leads the team's overall strategy development, branding, and the reputation of their corporate, subsidiary, and large-scale project digital media.

Representing both corporate Kiewit and the smaller businesses they own is no small task.

“We're trying to manage not only just one overall message from Kiewit but then all of the individual messages from the subsidiaries,” Brad says. Employees within these subsidiaries are proud of the work they are doing and the company they represent, and Kiewit endeavors to respect that. Brad recognizes that they all have their own brand, and Kiewit likely bought the company because of their brand, so he fights to keep those brands alive online.

They conduct a quarterly communication council meeting to ensure communication efforts are consistent at all levels, and their external affairs team is, as Brad explains, tied into just about every heartbeat of this organization.

“The content we generate is truly focused on the great things that have happened at Kiewit and trying to embrace and show that stuff off,” says Brad.

Their main audiences are people who work with Kiewit or those who may be considering it. As a BtoB operation, many access Kiewit's digital media to see if they are a reputable company. For this reason, Brad uses social media to display projects that are successful — particularly ones that win awards or projects that hit major milestones.

“We want people who may be considering coming to work for Kiewit to understand what we are, who we are, what we stand for, and all of the great things that we do,” says Brad.

Brad makes sure their content is a point of pride for employees and their families. He says, “It shows off the great work that's going on and reinforces that the people who are building this are an important asset — the number one asset to Kiewit.”

Brad is excited to figure out what's next for their team.

Right now, Brad and his team are figuring out how to best implement social recruiting. They would like to have frontline recruiters who are more active on social media. They want more people online, telling their story, and being brand ambassadors for Kiewit.

Why stick around for over 10 years? “I think the culture here is second to none,” he says. He describes the benefits of working on a small team within a big company: There's room to try new things, well-rounded experiential learning, and the opportunity to help others in several areas of the business. “We can help people make better decisions,” he says. “While we may not ever directly impact that bottom line, we can certainly impact decisions that impact that bottom line.”

Brad's been a member of since 2015. Follow him on LinkedIn here.