PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ALABAMA
NORTH ALABAMA CHAPTER (1972)
Amended 1983, 1986, 1993, 2009, 2018
Section 1.1 Board Procedure. The Rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order will govern the deliberations of the PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAPTER OF ALABAMA NORTH ALABAMA CHAPTER (hereafter referred to as “NAPRCA” or “the Chapter”) and the NAPRCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS (hereafter referred to as “the Board”) in all cases in which they are applicable and not in conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (hereafter referred to as “PRCA,” “State,” or “the Council”).
Section 1.2 Board Actions. A simple majority of the voting members of the Board will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. If a quorum is certified for a Board meeting, the Board may continue to do business, acting by a vote of the quorum, until adjournment, notwithstanding the withdrawal of enough Board members to leave less than a quorum or the refusal of any Board member present to vote. Each board member equals one vote. Board members may not vote by proxy, as board members are expected to stay informed and to do that they must be present. Online voting by electronic means is the preferred method of voting outside of an in-person meeting. When casting an email vote the voting member should email the vote to all voting members (i.e. “reply to all” other voting members) to be valid. Email votes are called at the discretion of the President and must be documented in the minutes.
Section 2.1 Board Composition. The Board will consist of the elected members of the Board and the Immediate Past President with voting rights. In addition, SPRF representatives from NAPRCA (if any) and the presidents of North Alabama student chapters will be ex-officio members of the Board without vote. No board member may hold more than one voting position. Duties for positions may be combined concurrently but cannot exceed one vote per person.
Section 2.2 President. The President will preside at all meetings of the Board and the Chapter and, with the Vice President of Finance, will sign as legal representatives of the Chapter all documents approved by the Board. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect or a Vice President designated by the President will preside. The President appoints Ad Hoc committees and the Nominating Committee with board approval and provides the Chapter’s vision for the year. The President automatically serves as a Board member for PRCA at the State level.
Section 2.3 President-Elect / Vice President of Programs. The President-Elect / Vice President of Programs will serve on the board coordinating monthly membership speakers and program content, and then move automatically into the position of President the following year. The President-Elect / Vice President of Programs will focus on strategic issues and the wider set of long-term educational and program needs of the Chapter in preparation to lead the Board. This position also consults with the President regarding presentations to the Board, questions of policy, and matters requiring continuing or future action.
Section 2.4 Secretary. The Secretary keeps the official records of the Chapter, records minutes, maintains a roster of the Board members, and prepares and distributes the officer nominee ballot for membership vote. The Secretary keeps other important archival and legal documents for the Chapter. This position is tasked specifically with coordinating the Sharon Heflin Chapter of the Year awards process and for collecting and maintaining the Council’s historical metrics as defined by the Board.
Section 2.5 Vice President of Finance. The Vice President of Finance is the custodian of the Chapter’s funds, will prepare and maintain the annual budget, will maintain and report financial status to the Board, and will oversee and schedule an annual accounting review and yearly IRS tax documents.
Section 2.6 Vice President of Professional Development. The Vice President of Professional Development will engage in activities with the consent of the Board that add value to keep the Chapter relevant to its members. This position is specifically tasked with coordinating at least one local professional development event or activity each year and informing membership of State-sponsored education opportunities.
Section 2.7 Vice President of Membership. The Vice President of Membership coordinates all membership activities of the Chapter related to recruitment, approval, and retention. Includes the uniform application of membership criteria, approval and recognition of qualified new members on the Board’s behalf, maintaining a current membership database within the Chapter and in the State directory as required, and ensuring proper dues payments between members, the Chapter and the State.
Section 2.8 Vice President of Projects. The Vice President of Projects will be responsible for planning and implementing all special projects related to community service and charity as directed by the Board. This position is specifically tasked with coordinating at least one local special project each year.
Section 2.9 Vice President of Accreditation and Ethics. The Vice President of Accreditation and Ethics is responsible for encouraging and supporting the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) Examination administered by the Universal Accreditation Board. This person must be an Accredited public relations practitioner. The position is the liaison between the Chapter and the State Accreditation representative and is responsible for communicating Accreditation information to NAPRCA members and for recruiting and mentoring candidates through the Accreditation process. This position is also responsible for promoting the PRCA Code of Ethics. In the event of an ethics complaint requiring mediation with the State, the Vice President of Accreditation and Ethics acts as the Chapter representative as described in PRCA’s Rules of Judicial Procedures for Ethics Committee.
Section 2.10 Vice President of Communication. The Vice President of Communication is responsible for the oversight of Chapter communication functions both internal and external to ensure integration of methods and cooperation between board members. Responsible for the Chapter’s communication channels including social accounts and website, auditing communications and conducting member research as needed, and making recommendations for smooth functionality of communication efforts.
Section 2.11 Vice President of Students. The Vice President of Students coordinates with all North Alabama student chapters to promote the profession and interaction among students and professionals. This position works in conjunction with the State Vice President of Finance to collect dues from student chapters and coordinates with the State Vice President of Students to coordinate student educational meetings usually in conjunction with the State conference as needed. This position oversees and awards the Chapter’s Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship.
Section 2.12 Members-at-large. Members-at-large may be asked to serve on the Board each year at the discretion of the Nominating Committee. The President will assign duties to each Member-at-large each year depending on the needs of the Board. Members-at-large are voting board members.
Section 2.13 Unexcused Absence. Officers and Board members are expected to attend all meetings of the Board. If unable to attend, the Board member should notify the President or Secretary in advance of the scheduled meeting or it will be unexcused. Two consecutive unexcused absences from Board meetings will constitute grounds for dismissal from office at the discretion of the Board.
Section 2.14 Term Limits. Board members will serve a term of one year starting January 1. Any voting member of the Board who will have served for six (6) consecutive years will be ineligible for reelection or reappointment for a period of one (1) year thereafter before returning to the Board. If, during the six years, the voting member is elected to serve as President-Elect, President and then Immediate Past President, those three years will count as one year.
Section 2.15 Co-Chairs. Sometimes it is desirable to create a two-person team to take on a bigger governance role. It is recommended to use the Chair and Vice Chair model. However, if the Co-Chair model is preferred, only one specific person will be named to the Board as a voting member so duties and voting rights are clear. Both may attend board meetings.
Section 3.1 Nominee Selection. After soliciting suggestions for officers and other Chapter members, the Nominating Committee will present the proposed board positions to the Chapter for election. NAPRCA SPRF representatives, if any, will be included on the Board slate as ex-officio members for information purposes only. SPRF representatives are appointed by the State President.
Section 3.2 Petition of Nomination. Nominations for additional candidates for the upcoming Board may be done through a Petition of Nomination. A petition must include the name of the willing candidate, be signed by ten (10) Chapter members and delivered into consideration as stipulated by the Nominating Committee Chair. Such individuals will be added to the slate. A winning candidate will be determined by the election process. Vote for multiple candidates vying for the same position can be accomplished by voice vote or secret ballot at the discretion of the Nominating Committee.
Section 3.3 Board Installation. Officers will be installed at the November Board meeting and will serve starting January 1 until successors are duly elected and installed.
Section 4.1 Board Vacancies. Vacancies will be filled for the unexpired portion of that term by two-thirds vote of the Board. Such vote may be taken by email ballot. This includes situations where the President is unable to fulfill duties for the entirety of the term.
Section 5.1 Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will be made up of the Immediate Past President, President and the President-Elect, with the Immediate Past President as Chair. The President will ensure this committee is active in time for the election of officers.
Section 5.2 Conference Committee. NAPRCA will host the State conference on a rotating basis and a committee will be formed for that purpose as needed. The Conference Chair is selected from and by NAPRCA Board with State Board approval to serve on both the State and NAPRCA Boards. The Chair will select the remaining committee members. The State Board President-Elect will automatically serve on all Conference Committees including NAPRCA’s in an oversight rather than planning capacity. This oversight does not replace the Conference Chair nor relieve that position from its State Board reporting duties.
Section 5.3 Other Committees. The President may appoint special and temporary committees as deemed necessary. This includes granting power to any Board member who may wish to establish a committee to assist with the work of that position.
Section 5.4 SPRF Representatives. The President will appoint all NAPRCA representatives to the SPRF Board as needed by October 1 or may empower the Nominating Committee to recruit. These positions are appointed locally, not elected.
Section 6.1 Chapter Meetings. There will be at least eight (8) meetings of the Chapter in any year.
Section 6.2 Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Chapter may be called at any time at the direction of the Board or by the President, or upon written request to the President by thirty (30) members in good standing. The notice of such meetings will state the business for which they are called and no other business may be transacted at such meetings.
Section 7.1 Eligibility. There are five categories of membership: Active, Associate, Sustaining, Student and Charter. New types of membership or removal of membership types may not be made except by amendment to the Constitution, Article III, Section 1.
A. Active (voting) membership is open to anyone who is a full-time public relations practitioner, or someone who is exercising full responsibility for his or her employer’s public relations activities and spending at least 50% of work time performing communication duties. Active membership is also open to members of the academic community who provide instruction and/or engage in research in the field of public relations.
B. Associate (non-voting) membership is open to those who do not meet the criteria for active membership status. Applicable to vendors who benefit from the ability to network with public relations practitioners. NAPRCA has the right to review Associate membership requests and reject them based on local policy.
C. Sustaining membership is reserved for those who are currently retired but were previously a full-time public relations practitioner or academic.
D. Student membership is open to undergraduate and graduate college students (not yet working in their career field) or recent graduates not yet full-time professionally employed in public relations who are enrolled in a public relations, communications or related major’s curriculum. They are encouraged and expected to join school-based chapters. If the school does not have a chapter, students can join the professional Chapter after the local board evaluates the membership.
E. Charter membership is a special honor granted to the founding members of PRCA at the State level. These members have honorary status, which includes all the privileges of active membership, but excuses them from payment of annual dues.
Section 7.2 Professional Member Process. The Vice President of Membership manages the membership process.
A. Membership Term. The official membership year for professionals is January 1 through December 31.
B. Individual Ownership of Membership. When a member leaves a company for employment elsewhere, the member retains NAPRCA membership for the remaining term of the membership year. This requirement holds for members reclassifying member type within NAPRCA or relocating and transferring between chapters to NAPRCA.
C. Membership Continuance. Professional members who change jobs or leave the profession, and student members who graduate, may continue membership through the end of the current membership term, provided that such members continue to abide by the Chapter’s Bylaws, Code of Conduct, policies and procedures. At the start of the next membership cycle, members will be expected to meet the specific eligibility requirements of their current employment at the time of renewal. Graduated student members who have not yet found employment in the profession may join up to two additional years from date of graduation at the student rate. NAPRCA has the right to review membership requests by the unemployed and reclassify them based on local policy.
D. Member Reinstatement. When a member in good standing resigns, he or she may be reinstated under conditions prescribed by the Board. The reinstatement process will usually require the re-application for membership as a new member. A member who has been dropped from the rolls for non-payment of dues may reapply for membership under conditions prescribed by the Board.
Section 7.3 Student Member Process. College students may join the Chapter as members of a student chapter or directly as student members of NAPRCA:
A. Student Members of Student Chapters. Student members must join school-based chapters if one exists at the student’s location. The official membership year for students belonging to a student chapter is the academic year starting in the Fall term.
B. Student Members of the Professional Chapter. If a school-based chapter is not available, or the student has sufficient professional or personal reasons for joining the professional Chapter, the local board will evaluate. Prospective student members may be accepted for direct membership in NAPRCA at the Chapter’s discretion. Student members without a student chapter default to the professional membership term.
C. Concurrent Membership. Once dues are received at the State level, members of each student chapter are automatically considered student members of NAPRCA and are counted as part of NAPRCA’s official membership. PRCA allows students to remain members at the professional level until the end of the calendar year, whether they graduate or not. PRCA also sends a portion of each student’s dues to the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF). All PRCA student members are automatically SPRF members and eligible for SPRF Lantern Awards.
Section 8.1 Membership Dues. Annual dues for renewing members are set by PRCA as outlined below. All individuals submitting new applications for active, associate or sustaining membership will be assessed a $15 new member application fee. Student members are exempt from the application fee. Throughout the year, new Active and Associate professional members may join on a prorated basis as determined by the Board. Student and Sustaining memberships are not prorated.
- Active members $105
- Associate members $125
- Student members of professional Chapter $25
- Sustaining members $25
Section 8.2 Student Chapter Additional Dues Authorization. A duly-chartered student chapter may set annual membership dues above the student rate and keep the additional funds for local activities. The student chapter will remit a membership roster along with $25 for each student member. It is the responsibility of each student chapter to remit dues to PRCA at the State level for its members. Any student in arrears with the State organization may be disqualified from entering student awards, even if dues have been paid to the local student chapter.
Section 9.1 Member Duties. All members, student and professional, are bound by the PRCA Code of Ethics. Members are expected to have a reputation for ethical conduct and integrity, agree to abide by these Bylaws, and all applicable policies and procedures, and to meet the specific qualifications of type of membership. Membership carries with it a definitive obligation to pay all applicable dues and fees at the State and Chapter level.
Section 9.2 Member Privileges.
A. All members who have paid any financial obligations to the Chapter and against whom no charges are pending have the right to serve as a member of the Board, a Chair of a committee of the Chapter, and to hold offices at Chapter, State and regional level.
B. Members of the Chapter are automatically members of the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF). SPRF is a participating organization of the Universal Accreditation Board, thus Chapter membership meets the requirement for use of the Accreditation credential.
C. In accordance with our Constitution, Associate members do not have voting privileges.
D. The Chapter may also control access to some member benefits including the creation of restricted areas of the organization’s official website and participation in Chapter-related events.
E. If the right of a member to vote or hold office is questioned, the records of the State will be conclusive.
Section 9.3. Membership Standing. Membership, renewal or reinstatement may be denied to anyone not in good standing with State or NAPRCA. A member in good standing is a member who adheres to the Chapter’s Bylaws, applicable policies and procedures and the Code of Ethics and has paid any financial obligations as required by these Bylaws. Any member who is not in good standing, as determined by the board or its designee after appropriate due process, will not be listed in the Chapter’s directory and will not be entitled to vote, hold office or enjoy any other privilege of membership. No member will be considered in good standing if his or her financial obligations are in arrears and will have membership terminated automatically.
Section 9.4 Ethics Complaints and Punishment. All complaints against members will be handled according to PRCA’s Rules of Judicial Procedure for Ethics Committee.
Section 10.1 Professional Chapter Structure. NAPRCA will be structured along the same organizational lines as the State organization, will adhere to the State Constitution, and will adopt operating procedures in keeping with those of the State.
Section 10.2 Professional Chapter Powers. NAPRCA may engage in any activity sanctioned by its Board, so long as the activity does not in any way obligate the State financially or otherwise, nor does the activity cause harm or create difficulty for the State organization.
Section 10.3 Professional Chapter Funding. Chapters are entitled to State funds as outlined in the state budget. All published dues and subsequent Chapter rebates are set and regularly evaluated by the State Board of Directors and may be revised when deemed necessary.
Section 10.4 Fiscal Year. The fiscal year will be the calendar year beginning January 1 and ending December 31.
Section 11. 1 Student Chapter Formation and Administration. A student chapter may be formed on the campus of any accredited Alabama college or university offering a sequence of at least four courses in public relations or in related subjects such as journalism, communication, advertising or marketing. Student chapters are governed by Guidelines for the Formation and Administration of PRCA Student Chapters.
Section 12.1 Amendments. The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Board. Current bylaws must be recorded by the secretary as part of the recording minutes and posted on the website for informational purposes only.