Philip, you are the new owner of Bay Media and the publisher of Around DB and Life on Lantau magazines. Please tell us more about the two magazines.
Bay Media has at least two regular magazines including Around DB and Life on Lantau (LOL). Around DB is a monthly community publication catering for Discovery Bay residents. It is very well-known among expatriates in the local community as it has been around for 17 years. It is also known for its simple format with lots of pictures shared by residents themselves, coupled with profile interviews and listings.
Life on Lantau is Around DB’s sister publication. Established some ten years ago, it focuses on the active lifestyle / recreational activities on Lantau South. It is a bi-monthly magazine that goes out to a broader audience as we deliver it free to Tung Chung, Mui Wo and Pui O, among other areas.
Both magazines are in English, and they both have their corresponding social media platforms, such as Facebook pages. Apart from our editorial content, we provide advertising space for properties. As a community publisher, we also provide up-to-date event listings.
Apart from the two magazines, Bay Media also publishes The Best of Lantau – an annual guide to everything you need to know about the beautiful island we call home. The Best of Lantau is always a great read, full of fascinating features written by some of the island’s very own experts. Readers can pick up a copy from various shops on Lantau or in other parts of Hong Kong; they can also simply click here
to read the publication online. At the same time, I am also the Founder of Jewish Time Asia.
What’s the value of community-focused media? Why is such a niche publication valuable?
Personally, it is rewarding when you feel you contribute to your own neighbourhood and get people to help each other out. What’s more, what we publish is actually driven by what is happening in the community, so our readers can often get involved. Naturally, everybody likes to do a bit of writing and have it published along with their photographs. It just feels right! I am a big fan of community news. For one, your audience is highly engaged. Also, we have a very targeted audience, a big plus for our advertisers.
What’s your plan for Bay media?
Develop more niche publications wherever the opportunity arises. We expect Life on Lantau to further develop alongside the growth of Tung Chung’s population. The area is set to grow in significance when relevant infrastructure and facilities come into place. Lantau indeed has its own strategic value being close to the airport and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge.
Apart from that, we also want to grow our Bay Media Studio division to help our clients build their own websites and visual content, among other things. Creating multi-media platforms has always been part of our plans.
You describe yourself as “a traditional print man”, but you’re also the man who transformed Localiiz.com into one of Hong Kong’s most popular social media platforms. What does the future hold for the media industry?
I have more than three decades of publishing experience with community and trade magazines, being involved in editorial, sales and marketing roles in local and international companies.
To name but a few, they included Sing Tao Newspaper Group, Thomson Financial Publishing and many others. Regarding the future of media, I believe we are all trying to find the right mix of content and formats, be it print or digital. They should in fact exist simultaneously as they are complementary to each other. In Hong Kong, in particular, competition will be fierce. Every organisation should have a clear mission and understand its own market. We have to remember we create our content to enlighten your readers. If we know them well, we can provide them with useful content and stay ahead of the curve.
Any tips for those who want to set up a new publication?
Like many other businesses, comprehensive planning is vital. Do not launch something new if you don’t have a proper plan, or if you can’t imagine what might happen three years down the road. We don’t live in the wonderland – be prepared for ups and downs in the market. Be patient and professional, and believe in yourself and your products.