1. Establishment & name
This organization shall be known as the Middle East* Public Relations Association, hereafter known as MEPRA, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, registered as a non profit LLC with the Media Zone Authority (twofour54).
The “Middle East” is currently defined as those countries making up the GCC plus Jordan, the Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt ie countries where many of the current agency members have a presence.
To be a world-class professional association for Middle East-based public relations practitioners who wish to advance the industry’s values, practice, commercial and social worth, as well as their individual career aspirations.
MEPRA seeks to:
a. Encourage and promote the region’s public relations profession within the Middle East region;
b. Raise awareness of Public Relations as an important social and economic activity which needs to be recognized as a separate trading category at the Federal and national level within the UAE;
c. Raise professional standards and provide a structure for continuing professional development.
d. Give practitioners a forum for the discussion of PR issues
e. Provide a unified voice for the public relations profession around the area of best practice standards and promote thought leadership on issues relating to public relations.
4. Code of Ethics and Professional Practices
All members shall abide by the Association’s Code of Conduct and for the Registered Agencies the Code of Practice and the Stockholm charter as posted on the MEPRA website. Anyone found to be in breach of the Code will be answerable to the Board and may have their membership terminated.
5. Membership types
For individual membership there shall be the following categories:
a. Individual Member: Anyone practising public relations, communications or related role.
b. Affiliate: Anyone practising public relations and not resident in a city or country with a MEPRA Chapter may join as an Affiliate and attend MEPRA events as a visitor enjoying the same membership benefits.
c. Academic: Individuals affiliated with recognized academic institutions as instructors in the field of communications, with substantial work experience, elected upon approval of membership application. Academic membership has voting rights and is not transferable.
d. Student: Those persons currently studying in either a full or part- time educational program in Communications at degree level or equivalent. Membership is not transferable and is non-voting.
For Registered Agency membership the following categories exist:
a. Small Agency member (1 to 10 employees)
b. Medium Agency member (11 to 40 employees)
c. Large Agency member (41+ employees)
For Corporate Entities, the following categories are available:
b. Large Corporate Companies
6. Membership benefits
- Increased credibility and recognition through membership of an association dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in public relations;
- Participation in MEPRA forums, seminars and workshops designed to provide training in public relations, share knowledge and improve practices;
- Networking opportunities, including regular MEPRA networking events for members, clients, media and other public relations professionals;
- Ability to seek and share market intelligence through the MEPRA membership network;
- Participation in MEPRA events and activities organised in conjunction with universities and other educational institutions to accelerate the advancement of public relations as a professional field in the Middle East, and as an area of academic study, and to create career opportunities in public relations for UAE nationals;
- Access to a member-only job forum - recruitment of public relations professionals or the pursuit of career opportunities via the MEPRA membership network;
- Participation in MEPRA’s ongoing programme to raise awareness of its effectiveness, increase recognition for the regional public relations industry and enhance profitability and benefits for its members;
- Access to information on public relations trends and industry developments via MEPRA’s international public relations associations.
7. Membership procedures
a. Applications for membership must be submitted online with details of the candidate’s professional experience
b. Only those applications from people living or working within the geographical region of the Middle East will be accepted.
c. MEPRA’s Board may, at its discretion, deny membership to any applicant without having to state a reason.
d. Any applicant rejected by the Board may appeal to the Chair.
e. A member may resign at any time.
f. Members who fail to pay their dues after reasonable notice may be suspended or have their membership terminated.8. Membership fees
a. MEPRA membership fees are set by the Board of Directors reviewed annually and applied towards administrative and other costs, as the Board shall from time to time determine. The Board shall have the right to levy additional fees if membership fees are inadequate to cover administrative costs of the Association.
b. The fee structure for 2013 is as follows:
- Full AED 1,000
- Affiliate AED 500
- Academic AED 750
- Student AED 250
For info on Agencies & Corporate Membership packages, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
c. The Board may consider introducing a joining fee or late payment charge at their discretion.
d. Annual membership fees shall be payable every twelve months.
e. A refund will not be made if a membership (whether of the member or any representative) is terminated or cancelled for any reason.
f. Membership will be deemed to have lapsed if the annual fee is not paid within the time prescribed by the Board. This is one month.
a. Wherever feasible, MEPRA members shall be encouraged to group themselves into Chapters.A Chapter can be based on a city, a territory embracing more than one city, or a country.
b. The Chapter is the basic unit from which most of the Associations activities should spring. Chapters shall initiate and carry out their own programmes, advancing the mission of the Association.
c. Twelve individual members may petition the Board for authority to organize a Chapter. Following receipt of a petition form carrying the requisite signatures and receipt of payment of the equivalent dues, the Chapter shall be recognized and inaugurated by a Charter issued by the Board.
d. A Chapter’s Charter shall be in harmony with those of the Association and shall be approved by the Board.
e. Election by Chapters of their Chairs and other officers shall, where practicable, be completed in February which is the same month in which the Association’s full elections are held.
f. Chapter Chairs shall be elected - or appointed - for a two-year term and may serve one further consecutive term. Further extension must have the Board’s approval.
g. MEPRA’s Board shall have the right to suspend or revoke the Charter of a Chapter if its membership falls below five, or if its activity is not considered sufficient to justify use of the Associations name, or is in conflict with the purposes and policies of the Association, or if it fails significantly to meet agreed upon administrative and financial responsibilities to MEPRA.
h. Chapters are encouraged to form and foster Student Chapters.
a. The administration of the Association’s affairs shall be the responsibility of the Executive Director and/or secretariat that answers to the Association’s Board.
b. The Board of Directors are elected members.These are:
Vice Chair / Chair elect
Chairs of Sub-Committees.
The Chair shall preside over meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors. The Chair shall see the Articles of the Association are observed and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
c. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the Association and shall present a statement of finances at the AGM of the Association covering other such statements from time to time as shall be requested by the Board of Directors.
d. The Vice Chair shall, in the absence of the chair, chair the Board meetings.
e. The Secretary shall be responsible for the secretarial work of the Association, the safekeeping of the Association’s records and membership files, the keeping of minutes at meetings, the conducting of correspondence and the issuing of notices of meetings.
f. Remuneration – apart from the General Manager, Business Development Exective and Finance Assistant, Board officers shall receive no direct or indirect remuneration for their services.
11. The Board
The Board is responsible for the reputation and good keeping of the Association. The Board:
a. Is responsible for deciding the duties and responsibilities of each officer;
b. Has the authority to act on behalf of the Association;
c. Is responsible for planning future policy, programmes, speakers and events;
d. Is responsible for all fundraising activities and ensuring they are executed in accordance with MEPRA’s guiding principles (professionalism and best practise).
e. Has the right to veto policies, statements and activities of other chapters, sub-committees or bodies acting in the name of MEPRA;
f. Has the right to enforce policies on all members of the association in accordance with this Charter;
g. Has the right to audit any activity or action taken by a member or chapter or sub-committee to protect MEPRA’s reputation;
h. Is responsible for accepting or rejecting applications for membership and is not be obliged to give any reasons for its decisions. It may also grant exceptions if the applicant possesses qualifications or experience equivalent to a specific grade;
i. May, at its discretion, invite other members to attend Board meetings as observers but without the right to vote
j. May appoint sub-committees and invite any member of the Association to assist the Board or serve on a sub-committee. All sub-committees shall conduct their activities in accordance with the objectives of the Association and with any directions of the Board;
k. May engage staff and obtain office and other facilities as considered necessary, the costs of which will be paid out of membership dues;
l. May establish rules for the conduct of its business and the business of the Association (provided such rules are consistent with the objective of the Association as stated in Article II above) and may vary such rules;
m. 50% of the total number of full voting members of the Board of Directors constitutes a quorum. In the event that a voting member of the Board cannot attend a meeting where a vote will take place, that member of the Board may in writing ask that his/her vote be cast by proxy on that issue;
12. Election of the Board
a. The Board shall be elected from MEPRA’s members. The election will take place prior to the Annual General Meeting to be held each year or at an Extraordinary General Meeting if required and agreed by a majority of the Board .
b. The Board shall be responsible for establishing the nomination and election process each year, provided always that: nominations for each office of the Board will be invited from the members of the Association when giving notice of the Annual General Meeting. The Board must receive all nominations in writing in reasonable time before the date of the Annual General Meeting. Every nomination shall be supported by at least two voting members of the Group. The Board will circulate the list of nominations to members not less than two weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
c. Election will be by a simple majority of the members eligible to vote.
d. If for any reason a member of the Board is unable to serve for a full year the vacancy will be advised to the members and the vacancy may be filled by the Board from any candidates that express an interest in filling the vacancy and which have the competencies required in order to fill the relevant role. The decision of the Board in relation to filling vacancies shall be final.
e. In order to ensure that the Board upholds its responsibility towards the Association, any officer who fails to turn up for two consecutive meetings and cannot provide a compelling reason for their absence will be asked to step down with immediate effect.
f. To ensure that there is a good representation of the members on the Board , positions will be rotated on an annual basis and no one officer can be an officer for more than two years.
g. The Chair elect acts as the Vice Chair.
h. Members standing for office have to have been members of MEPRA for at least 12 months.
i. Members elected to the Board must have 4 - 5 years working experience in the region and at least 10 in the public relations industry, be of good standing and recognized individuals for their services to the industry within the Middle East.
13. Management of member details - confidentiality
a. The Board will maintain an up-to-date list of all members.
b. Member’s personal details will be kept confidential.
c. Generic information (gender, age group, salary group, work type etc) will be made available for research purposes only and will be packaged and made available outside the Association for a commercial fee.
14. Audit & Financial Year
a. MEPRA’s fiscal year runs January 1 to December 31.
b. The Association will have an Honorary Auditor who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
c. The Committee shall arrange for the accounts of the Association to be audited at the end of each financial year and for a report from the Honorary Auditor to be presented to members at the Annual General Meeting.
14. General Meetings
a. The Annual General Meeting shall be held each year at a time determined by the Board. Business at the Annual General Meeting shall include (but not be limited to) a Report of the Board, Financial report, Election of the Board and in due course, Election of the Auditor.
b. The Annual General Meeting shall be called by the Board giving reasonable notice to members. All other General Meetings at which official business of the Association is to be discussed and a vote taken will be called by the Board giving not less than fourteen (14) days notice to members. A general meeting may be called to coincide with a luncheon meeting or other event.
c. Voting may be by a simple majority and in the event of a tie, the Chair (or such other person as determined pursuant to Article VIII (b) shall have a casting vote. A member of the Association may appoint another member who is entitled to vote to be his proxy to vote at a General Meeting, provided that such proxy shall be declared to the Board in advance.
d. The quorum for a General Meeting shall be the members present holding or representing 20% of the vote rights.
e. Each General Meeting shall be chaired by the Chair or in his/her absence, by the Chair Elect and failing that by another member of the Board.
a. A resolution to dissolve the Association shall only be proposed at a General Meeting and shall be carried out by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members voting at the meeting. Notwithstanding Article XI (d) the quorum at such a General Meeting shall be those members present holding or representing 20% of the voting rights.
b. The dissolution shall take effect from the date of the resolution and the members of the Board shall be responsible for the winding-up of the assets and liabilities of the Group.
c. Any property remaining after the discharge of the debts and liabilities of the Association shall be given to a charity or charities nominated by the last Board.