Public Relations Council of Alabama
Amended November 2014
The name of this organization shall be Public Relations Council of Alabama-Birmingham Chapter (PRCA-B); hereafter referred to as the Chapter. The Chapter is an affiliate of the state PRCA organization, which is an autonomous affiliate of the Southern Public Relations Federation.
Section 1: The Chapter exists to further the ethical practice of public relations by providing its members with opportunities for professional development, networking, leadership and recognition.
Section 2: It shall operate in accordance to Chapter organizational guidelines.
Section 3: It shall also support the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) student chapter and other students as deemed appropriate in their development as practitioners.
Membership and Dues
Section 1: Membership of prospective members is processed via online application through www.prcaonline.com. A State board representative notifies the PRCA-B vice president of membership upon receipt of each application, allowing the PRCA-B board of directors to vote on the prospective member for final approval of membership.
Section 2: There shall be five categories of membership: Active, Associate, Student, Sustaining, and Charter.
Active (voting) membership is open to anyone who is a full-time public relations practitioner, someone who is exercising full responsibility for his or her employer’s public relations activities, or members of the academic community who provide instruction and/or engage in research in the field of public relations. Applicants should spend at least 50 percent of their work time performing public relations duties or be solely responsible for the public relations function of an organization. Annual dues for active members are $105*
Associate (non-voting) membership is open to those with an interest in public relations but who do not meet the criteria for active membership. This category is also usually reserved for vendors who benefit from the ability to network and associate with public relations practitioners. Annual dues for associate members are $125.*
Student (non-voting) membership is available to full-time college students interested in a career in public relations (usually used when there is no local student chapter available). Annual dues for student members are $25.*
Sustaining (voting) membership is available to those current PRCA members who have retired from a full-time public relations career. Annual dues for sustaining members are $15.*
Charter (voting) membership is bestowed as an honorary status to long-term distinguished members of the Chapter. Charter Membership includes all the privileges of active membership. Dues are $15, though the Chapter may opt to waive dues for Charter Members. Charter membership shall be granted to the founding members of the Chapter.
*In addition to the dues amounts listed, prospective active, associate or sustaining members are required to pay a $15 new-member fee; prospective student members, a $10 new-member fee. Annual dues and new-member fees are payable with the application. Dues are only refunded if the prospective member’s application is not approved.
Section 3: Annual member dues follow a calendar-year renewal timeline. The renewal period is set by state, typically Oct. 1 through Feb. 1.After the renewal period is over, any members who did not renew will be removed from the PRCA-B roster, but can reapply as a new member. Dues for new members are prorated. New members are required to pay the prorated amount based on when they join.
Prorated dues are as follows and include the new member fee of $15.
Board of Directors
Section 1: The affairs of the Chapter shall be managed by the Board of Directors, meeting monthly or on call by the president. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers of the Chapter, and the immediate past president. The Board of Directors serves a term of one year starting in January to coincide with the state organization’s terms of office.
Section 2: A simple majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of Chapter business. This excludes the members-at-large who are not voting members of the Board.
Section 3: Procedure for conduct of a written ballot for officers and directors shall be as follows:
In September, the President will appoint a Nominating Committee, including a chair and two additional members, to propose a slate of officers to the membership. The Nominating Committee, after soliciting suggestions for officers, shall nominate a candidate for president. The presidential nominee shall confer with the Nominating Committee about the remaining major officers (seven vice presidents, treasurer, and secretary/historian) and a maximum of two members-at-large. The presidential nominee shall have final determination as to who shall be proposed for election.
The secretary shall submit the slate in ballot form to each qualified member for approval in November, at least thirty (30) days before the annual business meeting. Members may add or delete any names for office on this ballot and return to the president at least 15 days prior to the annual business meeting. Ballots not returned will indicate a vote in favor of the slate as submitted. A simple majority of returned and not returned ballots are required for approval of the slate.
Officers shall be installed at the annual business meeting and shall serve until successors are duly elected and installed.
Section 4: Transition: A mandatory transition meeting of all directors should take place in December or January to ensure a smooth transition between directors. All members of the board are responsible for noting the responsibilities of their office and keeping records to pass to the next officer.
Section 5: Installation: Officers should be installed and recognized at the annual business meeting of the Chapter by an accredited member of the organization. All officers shall make the following affirmation: “I pledge to uphold all Chapter Bylaws, to assist and enhance the goals of the Public Relations Council of Alabama and my profession to the best of my ability.” If at any time an officer cannot fulfill the duties of his/her office, the president shall nominate a replacement to be voted on by the Board.
Section 6: The Board shall meet monthly at a place and time to be decided on jointly to the convenience of the Board. If any officer cannot attend the meeting, he or she should submit a report to the president prior to the designated meeting.
Section 7: Votes via email are the preferred method of voting outside an in-person meeting. When casting an e-vote, the voting member should email the vote to all other voting members (i.e. reply to all other voting members) in order to be counted as valid. The treasurer is allowed to vote by proxy if unable to attend board meetings.
Section 1: The officers of the Chapter shall consist of the president, president-elect, vice president of programs-speakers, vice president of programs-facilities, vice president of membership, vice president of projects, vice president of accreditation/professional development, vice president of communications, vice president of student affairs, treasurer, secretary/historian, immediate past president, and two members-at-large.
Presides at all meetings of the Board and, with the treasurer, shall 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 shall preside at meetings of the Chapter. The president also serves on the State Board of Directors.
The president-elect consults with the president regarding presentations to the Board, questions of policy, and matters requiring continuing or future action. The president-elect may be assigned oversight of specific board functions, activities, programs and other efforts to assist the president as needed. The president-elect may make official appearances and presentations on behalf of the Chapter in place of the president. The president-elect works throughout the year to plan activities for the following year. The following year, the president-elect serves as president.
The secretary/historian is responsible for keeping official minutes of the Board. Also responsible for putting together the Chapter’s entry for the Chapter of the Year competition held at state conference. He/she also prepares and distributes the officer nominee ballot for membership vote.
The treasurer is the custodian of the funds of the Chapter. The treasurer is responsible for annual budget preparation and maintaining and reporting financial statements to the Board in a format consistent with standard accounting procedures. Any expenditure of funds, not budgeted, requires approval from the board. He/she also processes any payments to and from the chapter. This includes, but is not limited to duesfor annual membership renewals and new members. (The state organization sets the dues structure and the Chapter may not raise or lower dues amounts.)
Vice President of Programs-Speakers
The vice president of programs-speakers coordinates monthly speaker for Chapter meetings including communicating information to the VP communications for publication in the newsletter and on the website. (During summer months coordinates with other communications-based professional organizations to plan joint meetings, as mutually agreed on by organizations.)
Vice President of Programs-Facilities
The vice president of programs-facilities works with the vice president of programs-speakers and treasurer to coordinate location logistics and costs for each meeting in keeping with money budgeted for facilities and meals. He/she is responsible for planning meals, accepting reservations, and collecting money for lunches and reporting money collected to the treasurer.
Vice President of Membership
The vice president of membership coordinates all membership activities of the Chapter. That includes all aspects of the membership recruitment process including, but not limited to, Board approval, notification to new members, and tracking of dues and initiation fees with the treasurer and in coordination with state vice president of membership (see state website for guidelines). He/she manages the annual membership renewal process in cooperation with the state vice president of membership. He/she also maintains the official roster of the Chapter’s membership.
Vice President of Projects
The vice president of projects is responsible for all special projects of Chapter. This includes, but is not limited to, community outreach and pro-bono work for organizations that request assistance.
Vice President of Accreditation/Professional Development
The vice president of accreditation/professional development is responsible for the accreditation program, administered by the Universal Accreditation Board, and all special program development and continuing education of the Chapter. Continuing education projects may be assisted by the vice president of projects. This person must be an accredited public relations practitioner, eligible to facilitate an APR study group and to coordinate readiness review panels as requested by Chapter members.
Vice President of Communications
The vice president of communications is responsible for the newsletter and special publications of the board to the Chapter membership. He/she also issues special announcements to local/state media on behalf of the Chapter. He/she is responsible for maintaining the website or coordinating website updates with the Chapter’s designated webmaster. He/she manages the Chapter’s social media, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Vice President of Student Affairs
The vice president of student affairs acts as liaison between the board and local student chapters in providing student chapter support and attending student chapter meetings. He/she may choose to plan and conduct a student meeting along with other activities if desired.
Immediate Past President
The Chapter’s immediate past president sits on the board as a voting member. The past president’s input is invaluable to the acting president and board.
At the discretion of the nominating committee, no more than two members-at-large may be asked to serve on the board each year. Their purpose is to provide support for any officer as needed, to advise on issues brought before the Board and to fill vacant officers’ positions as needed. The members-at-large are not voting board members.
Section 1: The Chapter shall have a monthly meeting held on the first Wednesday of the month, unless it conflicts with a holiday or other event, in which case the board can move it. Meeting topics should be informative and related to the practice of public relations.
Section 1: The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws and special rules of order the Chapter may adopt.
Adoption or Amendment of Bylaws
Section 1: Chapter Bylaws may be amended on the approval of a two-thirds recorded vote of the Executive Committee Membership. The Board shall review the Bylaws on a semi-annual basis.
Section 2: All matters not addressed within the Chapter Bylaws shall be deferred to the state PRCA constitution. If such matters are not addressed under the state PRCA constitution, then the Chapter Board of Directors shall take the appropriate action in accordance with its responsibilities and duties as a board.