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Mapping Your Future Newsletter: Tip of the Week

Mapping Your Future

Tip of the Week

March 21, 2018

Reputation management

Having worked on a college campus, I have seen how various offices get a reputation, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Unfortunately, it was the ones with the bad reputation – poor customer service, slow responses, disgruntled employees, etc. – that I remember the most.

Not that reputation is an issue in financial aid offices – after all one of the reasons we get into financial aid is to serve others. However, it is important to be proactive and manage the reputation of your office for both internal and external audiences. Reputation management may not be a specific part of your job duties in financial aid, but it is part of your responsibility.

Following is a checklist of things to do in managing your reputation:

  • Be aware of your current reputation. Research online resources and social media to see what is said about your financial aid office. Although online reviews and comments may be about your institution in general, there may be mentions of financial aid. Consider conducting a survey of other departments and of students and parents to determine what they think of your office reputation.
  • Conduct an internal office check. How do your own employees view the office, and do they think anything needs to be done?
  • Know the risks to your reputation. Listing the possible risks may be similar to any possible disasters or crises. Understand how those risks could affect your reputation and make sure you have a plan to mitigate those risks.
  • If there is a crisis and your office is involved, know how your institution will handle it. While your school's office of communications or external affairs may handle crisis communications and reputation management, understand what role your office will have and prepare to take action if needed.

The financial aid office can have a huge impact on the reputation of a college or university – your office is often one of the first visited by prospective students. In addition, most of the students at your institution may have contact with your office at one time or another – just make sure that contact is a good one and builds on your valuable reputation.

By Catherine Mueller

 

 

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Mapping Your Future®, Inc.
P.O. Box 2578, Sugar Land, TX 77487
(800) 374-4072