Top 10 Exemplary Perception Managers in Corporate Nigeria – Funso Aina

Funso Aina, Senior Manager, External Relations, MTN Nigeria, has over 22 years’ experience that covers a wide range of fields such as journalism, cultural diplomacy and telecommunications under his belt. He brought into his current position proven competencies in public relations, public affairs, corporate communications, crisis management, as well as perception and reputation management.

Before his foray into the corporate world, Aina was an accomplished journalist, holding senior editorial positions in different newspapers, with extensive coverage of various fields, including foreign affairs. He was a Senior Reporter with Independent Communications Network Limited, publishers of The News magazine, as well as Tempo and PM News newspapers. He was also the State House, Abuja, as Chief correspondent for Punch newspaper, as well as a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. He held the position of Assistant Editor with The Nation newspaper.

Aina’s journalistic skills and expertise recommended him for inclusion in the International Visitors’ Programme of the State Department of the United States in 2003. That is one programme that is reserved only for the best and brightest in journalism.  In 2005, the Commonwealth Press Union made him a Fellow, also in recognition of his journalistic excellence. As part of his journalistic training, he worked as an intern with Portsmouth News, a newspaper in the UK.

Aina’s first birth upon leaving journalism was the British Council, the international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations of the United Kingdom, as Communications Manager. That was where he learned the ropes in communication of a different kind, from what he had practised for many years in the newsroom. He also had a stint with the British Council in India.

He joined MTN in January, 2009, at the position of Public Relations Manager. On that position, he had responsibility for reputation and perception management for the telecoms giant. He also handled stakeholder management, media relations and public relations, corporate sponsorships and events management.

In recognition of his invaluable contributions to the positive image and reputation of MTN in Nigeria, he was elevated to the position of Senior Manager, External Relations, in 2018; a position that affords him the opportunity and leeway to engage more extensively, through tailor-made communications with the company’s various publics. Since his elevation, he has proved that the confidence the company reposed in him hasn’t been misplaced.

A holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ilorin and a Master’s in International Relations from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Aina has been able to bring his knowledge and competence in corporate communication to bear on his current position, especially his ability to manage communication with the company’s critical stakeholders and publics.

Aina has distinguished himself as a thorough-bred professional in corporate communication, winning the admiration and recognition of not just his employers, but also the media – his traditional constituency – as well his professional body. In one of such recognitions, the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations honoured him with the award of the Best in Crisis Management, at a colourful ceremony on December 18, 2021.

He is an Associate of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.