MTN’s Funso Aina Clinches ‘Innovator of the Year’ Award at SABRE
Funso Aina, MTN Nigeria’s Senior Manager, External Relations, and one of Africa’s most decorated media and public relations professionals, has been named ‘Innovator of the Year’ in the brands category at the highly respected SABRE IN2 awards.
Awarded since 2013, the SABRE IN2 awards recognise excellent work that highlights the expanding scope of the PR profession, from content creation to the evaluation process using data and analytics to inform, enhance and evaluate campaign successes across the globe.
Aina’s recognition was announced by Provoke Media on February 15, 2023.
The award was presented at the PRovoke EMEA Summit in Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten Frankfurt, Germany on Thursday March 23, 2023.
CEO & Editor-in-chief, PRovoke Media, Arun Sudhaman said, “The media and communications industry is in the age of convergence, with every discipline demonstrating decent impressions to be most valuable to organisations and agencies. The innovation SABRE awards recognises campaigns that are groundbreaking- having factual data analysis and implemented with the use of technology for evaluation by industry leaders. The award category spotlights professionals in agencies and brands that empower and enable reputation excellence within their organisations.”
This innovation award is a testament to Funso’s trailblazing efforts in media relations, through MTN Nigeria’s Media Innovation Programme (MIP): a six-month certificate programme for Nigerian media practitioners to increase the knowledge and skill base of the participants, help them understand the changing media landscape and how to effectively use technology to create impactful media content in the country and Africa at large.
During the study, 20 media practitioners from various media sectors engaged in capacity-building sessions to stir up their innovations and improve ways of practice to create sustainability in the industry. This was apparent in their study trip to the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, where the participants engaged in interactive sessions on creativity and innovation, explored opportunities in the media business and brainstormed on solutions to some of the challenges to successfully running media businesses in Africa.
Funso, a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), and a corporate communication professional with over two decades of experience emerged top across Europe, the Middle East and the African region (EMEA). He was named ‘Most Influential Public relations professional in Nigeria’ by the industry regulator, NIPR in 2022.
Aina says:, “I am grateful for the recognition from SABRE and its dedication to acknowledging exceptional content produced by modern PR professionals. This award is inspiring for all of us at MTN; it emboldens our commitment to improving the media landscape and implementing our ‘Good Together’ initiative. I am convinced we still have feats to achieve in the industry, and with strategic thinking, we will cover even more grounds.”
Funso Aina has close to three decades of work experience in journalism, cultural diplomacy and telecommunications. He has various competencies and hands-on experience in public relations, corporate communications, media relations, public affairs and reputation and crisis management. He is a Fellow of the prestigious US State Department’s International Visitors Programme (IVP) and the British Commonwealth Press Union (CPU).
Prior to joining MTN Nigeria in 2009, he was Communications Manager of the British Council, Chief Correspondent at Punch newspapers, Assistant Editor with The Nation newspapers and Senior Reporter with Independent Communications Network Limited (ICNL), publishers of The News, Tempo magazines and PM newspapers.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (University of Ilorin, 1992) and a Master’s degree in International Relations (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, 1998).