Reputation audits and consultancy

Reputation is the most important factor for a university to get right. At present this is more true than ever, with stakeholders and partners seeing negative stories about the university sector – whether it be about fees, HE salaries or pension disputes.  But do you measure your reputation and take the pulse of key stakeholders?

We provide reputational audits and communications consultancy to support universities' development. Each project is tailored to the circumstances and aspirations of the client.

Our thorough assessment of a university's reputation, vision and stakeholder management is based on in depth research, data analysis and market experience. From these we provide clear realistic and actionable recommendations.

What will reputation consultancy deliver?

During a reputational audit we interview stakeholders and survey target audiences (e.g. students, staff, parents and teachers), to build up a picture of what people think about you. We find out what they notice about your activities and communications and what they regard as your operational and brand strengths. This is the first step to managing your reputation and creating a stronger communications and marketing strategy.

Our communications consultancy to university leaders provides help with vision and speeches, advising on staff and stakeholder communications, and creating distinctive academic and experiential brand positioning.


Case Studies

University College Cork

Shaping UCC's Strategy

A reputation audit to inform and steer University College Cork's corporate and marketing strategies.

"The insights have been an invaluable contribution to our strategy development."

Donna O'Driscoll, Marketing and Communications Director, UCC

Newcastle University

Positioning Newcastle University's Global Brand

Creating a global brand position for Newcastle University, UK and Asia.

"Their advice has really helped us create a new, global ambition and brand."

Abi Kelly, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, Newcastle University

See all case studies

At The Knowledge Partnership, we never use our client's details without their consent. All case studies are provided with full permission directly from our main project contact.

How can our reputational audits help you?

  • The audits create an evidence-based report and recommendations from which you enhance your marketing.
  • Qualitative insights build up a picture of your strengths and weaknesses, providing evidence for future communications strategies and tactics
  • Quantitative scoring records how stakeholders measure you on 10 indicators of reputation. This also allows benchmarking every few years.
  • In-depth telephone stakeholder interviews reveal what you need to do to impress them further. They also inform them of key messages and goals
  • A review of your university website, compared to your competitors’, provides expert recommendations of how to strengthen your online image.
  • Our recommendations advise on what to do to. Strengthen your vision, improve your brand position, communicate more effectively with critical senior stakeholders, respond to staff concerns and ideas and effectively reach the most important audiences for recruitment, business or donor relations. 

How do we report findings

Our conclusions and recommendations come in the form of either a full reports and a presentation or powerpoint, based workshops for senior management and directors of communications and marketing.

We advise that the university leader is part of the project initiation session and the reporting workshop to ensure institutional buy-in.

Our Track Record

The Knowledge Partnership are the most informed and insightful consultants about HE that we have ever worked with. They have worked with us over many years on a variety of strategic leadership, marketing and stakeholder research projects and I am constantly impressed by their ability to engage with a broad range of academic and professional colleagues, the quality of their data, and their willingness to challenge and stretch our thinking at every point.

Alan Ferns, Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation, The University of Manchester
To find out more call Louise Simpson on +44 122 3366327 or email

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