Ayeni Adekunle, the founder and CEO of BHM, has been recognised as the ‘PR Practitioner of the Year’ at the seventh edition of the Lagos State PR Industry Gala and Award (LaPRIGA), organised by the Lagos state chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
The event which took place on Friday, December 2, 2022, at D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos, recognised over 20 honourees from public relations consultancies, public and private sector practitioners, stakeholders, and the media in various categories.
Ayeni was named PR practitioner of the year, for the second time, in recognition of his contributions towards the growth of public relations globally by spearheading the World PR Day and the Global Day of Influence initiatives.
He was also awarded for leading conversations around public relations with the Nigeria PR Report (NPR) and the forthcoming Africa PR and communications Report (APCR). The award also recognises the growth and expansion of BHM into Africa’s first global integrated communications company.
The past year has seen BHM record significant milestones. In March 2021, the company announced its expansion to London and Edinburgh and subsequently followed this up with the establishment of operations in Ghana and Kenya, under the auspices of ID Africa, an allied Pan-African public relations, marketing communications, and strategic advisory company, in April 2022. In July, Ayeni also led the world to celebrate World PR Day which has now been held for two consecutive years, attracting over 10,000 professionals from over 20 countries and six continents.
Ayeni is a Nigerian entrepreneur and consultant with interests in public relations, advertising, media innovation, Human capital development, technology, and entertainment. He started his career as a journalist spending over 10 years in the field before converting to PR and founding BHM, in November 2006. The company currently serves a wide range of high-end clientele spread across different sectors including FMCGs, Telecommunication, and Media Services.
According to Ayeni, the award shows BHM’s commitment to scaling the public relations practice in Nigeria and ensuring that the industry receives global recognition. “I am thankful and honoured to receive this award. The award is a testament to our commitment to adopting global best practices and driving initiatives that put Nigeria on the global map. We have the talents and we have the tools to compete favourably globally and this award goes a long way in showing us what is possible.”
Described by Forbes Africa as one of the pioneers who led Nigeria into the digital-first strategy era of Marketing Communications, Ayeni was also named Nigeria’s PR Practitioner of the Year in 2017 by NIPR and named PR CEO of the Year at the Brandcom Awards in 2020. His consultancy, BHM Group was also named Agency of the Year and Best Agency to Work in 2017 by LaPRIGA with ID Africa emerging as Best Agency for Use of New Media in 2018.
Ayeni also led BHM to emerge finalist for the ‘Africa Consultancy of the Year’ award for the second year running at the annual SABRE Awards EMEA. The consultancy was also nominated across other categories including Capital Markets Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility, Crisis Management, and Geographic categories for the ‘MTN Public Offer’, ‘Coca-Cola World Without Waste’, ‘MTN & Banks – USSD’, and the ‘Project Safe Up – My World of Bags’ campaigns, respectively.
At the ceremony, NIPR Lagos chairperson, Comfort Nwankwo, appreciated industry stakeholders for their contribution to the practice of public relations.
“The LaPRIGA Awards has evolved by adding new colours, dimensions, and values and recognizing best accomplishments in reputation management, relationship management, and support for marketing functions,” she said.
The LaPRIGA Awards is a prestigious high-profile event showcasing and recognizing excellence in public relations practice in the public and private sectors.