During five days, from Wednesday 12th until Sunday 16th September, 150 000 visitors strolled through the alleys of Manila international book fair, the most important event of the year in the publishing sector. Amongst over a hundred exhibitors, Bayard Assumption media foundation stood out with a booth made of recycled wood panels and furniture, decorated with bamboo trees and a cosy coffee nook. The perfect place to discover daily readings, catechism materials and informative magazines for kids. Many curious customers took time to chat with Bayard employees and Assumptionist brothers, all welcoming and ready to explain the publishing house principles. One of the key moments took place when Pierre Langlois, Bayard representative in Asia and Africa, and Hugues de Foucauld, Bayard CEO in the US, stopped by and shared their insights regarding religious publishing in the Philippines.
Three questions to Pierre Langlois, Bayard publisher in Asia and Africa
What is at stake for Bayard in Asia, and especially in the Philippines ?
Bayard is established in three Asian countries : the Philippines, Vietnam, and since a year India. Religious publishing market in those countries vary consequently. For example, competition is scarce in India whereas it is very active in the Philippines. In the latter, our objective is thus to gain notoriety and make the public aware of the added value of our publications. Especially for children. We also consider that Bayard takes part in the Assumptionist mission. Our goal is not only to economically develop our firm. We also aim to build projects at the rhythm of the local Assumptionist community. We adapt as much as we can to the context and take time to train local employees into skilled professionnals. This intercultural connection helps us in return to reinvent our business in a globalized world.
How does Bayard adapt Living with Christ to the local context ?
Although liturgical contents are prepared in the US, editorials, texts comments and references are prepared by the local branch. We also take care to adapt the layout of each publication to the readers expectations. Lastly, our digital marketing also allows us to be more flexible for the subscription processes. Next year will be a good time to evaluate our results as the Filipino edition of Living with Christ will celebrate its’ tenth anniversary !
How would you describe your work as an international publisher for Bayard ?
I would say my work has a missionary side. It is based on three principles : help people to understand and seize the word of God, back up Assumptionists with our professional skills and develop qualitative information about the church and the world. As Emmanuel d’Alzon said, our goal is to “educate to build a better world”. I also enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit of Asian and African countries. Their creativity inspires me every day.