Balancing CSR and business goals at North West print and design company


It’s a Friday morning in mid-March and my team and I are out in the business park where we have been based for over 40 years.  We have brought together local businesses to kick off the Great British Spring Clean to help clear up the highways by our office which have become overrun with litter.


More and more we have found ourselves engaging with neighbouring businesses in this way, connecting on a shared common interest, which is the greater good of our local community.


Last year saw the beginning of our partnership with community charity, Forever Manchester, who work to fund local communities and projects.


It was the first anniversary of the tragic arena bombing in Manchester, so we provided posters for our neighbours in Trafford Park Village, which featured a poem by Tony Walsh called ‘This Is the Place’, which he performed on the steps of the Manchester Town Hall.


As a print and design company, we are keen to make a difference whilst also keeping our business needs and strategy at the forefront, so we still grow as a business.


Therefore, the ways we engage with CSR means we are able to make a difference in our community, at the same time speaking with potential clients and businesses.


A few examples of how we engage are; our work with a very large, well-known football club where the partnership allows us to give to many of our smaller clients fundraising efforts. Over the past few years, we have donated tickets for games to a local dance academy, raising money for Once Upon a Smile and a local school fundraising money for supplies.


We have provided print at cost for a fundraising ball with our client Fitzpatrick design, raising money for Cancer Research, printed The Lowry Theatre’s golf day collateral free of charge and paid for and sponsored uniforms for a local cheerleading squad and football team aimed at keeping young people off the streets.


Most recently we printed and donated artwork for the wall of a children’s Observation and Assessment Unit at North Manchester General Hospital designed to make attending the hospital less scary and more welcoming for the young patients.


We use our social channels, website, internal and external newsletters, networking events and a PR team to share our input into the local community and to make sure we get our message across to target businesses.


Through our CSR work, we have begun to raise awareness of our business and established new connections.


Looking inwards our CSR work has not only boosted community spirit, but it has also had an effect on our team morale. Our team of 48 proudly get involved and It creates a positive environment within the office giving us all a common bond.


We experience a high retention rate with our staff and I believe this partly boils down to the fact we want our team to express their personality and our charity work gives them an outlet to do this. We now know that we have some star bakers and comedians at the DCB Group!


People often ask, how do you balance engaging in CSR whilst still reaching business goals? We truly believe that when a client decides to work with us, their decision is based on much more than just seeing our credentials and case studies. It is about having a connection which speaks to the beliefs of our business. I believe this is what draws people to work us. Beyond being a print supplier, we are a business partner that cares.


So, in conclusion, while we engage with CSR for altruistic reasons, we still have to consider our own business needs and we make sure this is communicated throughout, on our own channels, on external channels, and within business networks.


By Victoria Hart



About the author


Victoria Hart heads up the DCB Group. Made up of print management company Print Search, creative and design agency Caspa and print on demand company Aspen. Based in what was famously described as the ‘brains & guts’ of Industrial Britain, Trafford Park DCB supply menus, corporate literature, promotional posters, flyers and other materials to a host of different markets including SMEs, Construction, Education, Retail, Hospitality & Leisure.


Proud to oversee logistics for the likes of Lowry Theatre, A-Plant, NUS plus and the most recent acquisition Explore Learning. Victoria is extremely proud of her team who work hard to become an extension of their client’s team, taking care of their print as if it were their own.


Victoria is a firm believer in ensuring wellbeing is a factor in the everyday running within a workplace and this has transferred into the DCB Groups values. Victoria ensures that staff members are given the opportunity to discuss wellbeing within the workplace as well as putting into place strategies that allow the group to be eco-friendlier and more aware of their carbon footprint.

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