Constitution and Bylaws

BYLAWS
PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSOCIATION OF MISSISSIPPI –
Mississippi Beach Chapter

Established January 6, 1993, Amended 2017

ARTICLE I.

Organization

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be Public Relations Association of Mississippi, Mississippi Beach Chapter.  The organization is constituted through the auspices of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Southern Public Relations Federation.

 

ARTICLE II.

Rules of Order

Section 1. The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the deliberations of the Chapter and the Board of Directors in all cases in which they are applicable and not in conflict with the Constitution and by-laws of the Chapter.

 

ARTICLE III.

Fiscal Year

Section 1. The fiscal year of the Chapter shall be a calendar year, beginning on January 1 and ending December 31 of each year.

 

ARTICLE IV.

The Board

Section 1. The governing body of the organization shall be a Board of Directors composed of an Executive Committee and Committee Chairs.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Past President, Director/Membership and Director/Professional Development.  The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the operation of the Chapter and should make such recommendations to the Board of Directors as are necessary to enhance the operation of the Chapter.  Any official acts of the Executive Committee must be approved and/or ratified by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. The President shall preside at all meetings of the chapter and board meetings when present.  The President shall serve as the official chair of the Board of Directors and its executive committee. Along with the Secretary, the President shall sign as a legal representative of the Chapter all documents approved by the Board of Directors.  Along with the Treasurer, the President shall co-sign checks for the chapter. The President shall represent the Chapter on the Association board and at state and regional meetings.  The President shall be an ex officio member of all committees.

Section 4. The Vice-President shall assume full responsibilities and perform all duties of the President in the event of his/her absence.  The Vice-President shall serve as the second Chapter Representative on the Association board.  The Vice-President shall be a signatory on all Chapter bank accounts and, in the absence of the President, shall be responsible for assuming said signatory responsibilities. The President may delegate additional duties to the Vice-President as deemed necessary for the operation of the Chapter.

Section 5. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping the current year official records of the Chapter including meeting notices, minutes of all Executive Committee meetings and Board meetings, general correspondence regarding the Chapter, the official membership roster and such other files as are pertinent to the Chapter.  The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining an archive of chapter records.  The Secretary shall handle all correspondence concerning information about the Chapter, the state association and the Southern Public Relations Federation.

Section 6. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of the Chapter with responsibility for billing and collecting annual dues, paying bills owed and preparing and presenting monthly/quarterly and annual financial reports to the Board in a format consistent with standard accounting procedures.  The Treasurer shall also be responsible for filing any necessary tax documents and paying any taxes owed.  The Treasurer, the President, or the Vice President shall sign all checks on behalf of the Chapter.  Two signatures must be present on all checks.  The Treasurer shall also prepare a Chapter budget for the year and be responsible for monitoring said budget.

Section 7. The Past President shall serve as chairperson for the Nominating Committee each year and oversee the Chapter’s entries into state and regional awards programs, including the Southern Public Relations Federation Chapter of Distinction program.

Section 8. The Director/Professional Development shall be responsible for activities related to chapter meetings. Duties shall include speaker arrangements and managing all site logistics.  The Director/Professional Development is also responsible for providing content about meetings to appropriate committee chairs. The Director/Professional Development may establish a committee of members to assist with this function.

Section 9. The Director/Membership shall be responsible for efforts related to the recruitment, recognition and retention of chapter members. Duties shall include identifying and contacting prospective members, presenting new member applications to the Board for approval and maintaining a roster of all Chapter members. The Director/Membership may establish a committee of members to assist with this function.

Section 10. Officers and board members are expected to attend all meetings of the Board of Directors.   If unable to attend, the Board member shall notify the Secretary in advance of the scheduled meeting.  Three consecutive unexcused absences from Board meetings shall constitute grounds for dismissal from office at the discretion of the Board.

Section 11. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for all meetings of the Board.

Section 12. No elected officer or committee chair of the Chapter shall be entitled to any salary or other compensation. The Board of Directors may reimburse officers and committee chairs for expenses occurred in connection with the performance of their duties.

Section 13. Officers may not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

 

ARTICLE V

Committees

Section 1. The President, with the approval of the Executive Committee, shall appoint Board approved committees to assist in carrying out Chapter activities.  Such committee chairs shall be appointed with concurrence of the Executive Committee and approval by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Standing committees are accreditation, publicity, printed publications, online communications, community service and scholarships. Committee chairs shall serve as members of the Board of Directors.

Section 3. The President shall appoint such special, temporary and/or standing committees as is appropriate to carry out the function of the Chapter, including the Nominating Committee.

Section 4. The Director/Professional Development and Director/Membership shall be empowered to establish any committees necessary to the execution of his/her duties as outlined in Article III.

Section 5. All committees shall make reports as specified by the President, normally to be at chapter meetings and/or Board meetings.

 

ARTICLE VI.

Meetings and Conferences

Section 1. There shall be regular meetings of the Chapter at least 10 times each year at such times and places as designated by the Board of Directors. Special scheduled events may replace chapter meetings. The Board may cancel regularly scheduled Chapter meetings due to inclement weather or other situations that may threaten the health and safety of members.

Section 2. Regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at the discretion of the President.  Such board meetings shall be held at least on a quarterly basis.

Section 3. Special meetings of the chapter may be called at any time at the discretion of the Board or by the President or upon written request to the President by one-fourth (1/4) of the chapter membership.  The notice of such meetings shall state the business for which they are called and no other business may be transacted at such meetings.

Section 4. Chapter meeting schedules shall not conflict with the association annual meeting or the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) conference.

 

ARTICLE VII.

Membership

 Section 1. There shall be four classes of membership:

  1. Corporate Membership – The membership shall be owned by the organization which applies for membership, pays dues, and is represented by an employee. Said organization has the authority to appoint a new member if its representative changes employment.  However, corporate representatives should meet acceptable membership requirements.
  2. Individual Membership – The membership shall be owned by the individual paying dues; the membership shall transfer with the member.
  3. Student Membership – The membership shall be open to any student in a Mississippi college who is preparing for a career in public relations.
  4. Life Member – At the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, individuals may be awarded the honor of life membership. This category is to be used to recognize public relations practitioners who have provided valuable service to the profession and PRAM-Mississippi Beach and have worked in the field of public relations for a minimum of 25 years.

Section 2.  An individual who is of established professional standing in public relations or related field shall be eligible for membership.  Student membership may be retained no longer than six months beyond graduation.

Section 3. Interpretation of this requirement shall be vested in the Board which shall be guided by the nature of the applicant’s occupational duties if responsibility for public relations activities is not indicated by the applicant’s job title and shall be guided by the precepts of the association as stated in the association constitution and by-laws.

 

ARTICLE VIII.

Dues

Section 1.  The dues for the Chapter shall be set annually by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Each member shall be responsible for paying such dues to the Chapter and in such manner as is prescribed by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Chapter dues will include state association and SPRF dues.

Section 4. Dues will be payable to the Chapter as of January 1 each year.  Dues for new members after July 1 will be one-half (1/2) of full dues.

 

ARTICLE IX.

Privileges

Section 1. Each chapter member shall be entitled to a certificate of membership signed by the Chapter President and Southern Public Relations Federation President.

Section 2. An official membership roster, updated periodically, along with a current constitution and by-laws, shall be prepared and available to all members of the Chapter annually or be made available on the official Web sites of PRAM Mississippi Beach, the state association or the Southern Public Relations Federation.  This shall be the responsibility of the Secretary.

Section 3. Only those organizations and members who have paid current dues shall be eligible to vote and hold office.

 Section 4. If the right of a member to vote or hold office is questioned, the records of the chapter shall be conclusive evidence.

 

ARTICLE X.

Elections

Section 1. Procedure for conduct of a written or electronic ballot shall be as follows:

  1. Officers shall serve for a term of one fiscal year.
  2. The President, with the approval of the Board, will appoint a nominating committee consisting of no fewer than three and no more than five chapter members. The nominating committee is to be chaired by the Past President.
  3. The membership of the nominating committee will be announced to the membership by September 1 or during the September Chapter meeting.
  4. The nominating committee shall present a written or electronic slate of Officers and Directors to the Board for approval prior to the October Board meeting. The new slate of officers may not include any nominating committee members.
  5. The slate shall be presented to the membership during the October Chapter meeting or within five days following the October Chapter meeting. The membership shall have 10 days for submitting written additions to the slate to the nominating committee chairperson.
  6. The Secretary will send an electronic ballot of the final slate of Officers and Directors to the Chapter for voting. The Chapter membership will have five days to vote from the date the ballot was sent.  A simple majority of those voting is required for election.
  7. The President will announce the new officers by December 1 or at the December Chapter meeting.

Section 2. Qualifications for nominees for officers and Directors shall be as follows:

  1. Nominees for the office of President shall have been a member of PRAM for a minimum of three years and must have also been a Board member for a minimum of two years, including the year immediately prior to becoming President.
  2. All other officers shall have been a member of PRAM for a minimum of two years.
  3. At-large Board members shall have been a member for at least one complete year.

Section 2. A representative from the Southern Public Relations Federation shall formally install the Officers and Directors in a ceremony during a Chapter meeting as soon as arrangements allow after the new year.

 

ARTICLE XI.

Vacancies

 Section 1. Should the office of President become permanently vacant for any reason, the office of President shall be filled by the Vice-President.

Section 2.  The President, with the approval of the Board, may name an existing Board member or appoint a chapter member to the Board to complete the remainder of the term for any other Board position that becomes vacant.

Section 3. If necessary, an existing board member may be called to serve concurrently in two offices. As examples, the positions of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined or a member of the Executive Committee may chair a committee.

 

ARTICLE XII.

Section 1. Proposed amendments to these by-laws are to be first presented to the Board at a legally constituted Board meeting. After proposed amendments are approved by the Board, they are to be presented to the Chapter membership for a vote. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting is required to amend these by-laws. These by-laws may be amended by written or electronic ballot.