1. Code of ethics and professional practices
a) All members shall abide by the Association’s Code of Conduct and The Stockholm Accords 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.
2. Membership types
a) Member benefits and the fee structure can be found under the membership section on the website, as follows:
- Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Large agency member (41+ employees)
- Medium agency member (11 to 40 employees)
- Small agency member (1 to 10 employees)
- Individual member
- Student member
3. Membership procedures
a) Applications for membership must be submitted online.
b) Only those applications from people living or working within the geographical region of the Middle East will be accepted.
c) Any applicant rejected by the MEPRA Board may appeal to the Chair.
d) A member may resign at any time.
e) Members who fail to pay their dues after reasonable notice may be suspended or have their membership terminated.
f) Annual membership fees are renewed every twelve months.
g) A refund will not be made if a membership is terminated or cancelled for any reason.
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 Association’s activities should spring. Chapters shall initiate and carry out their own programs, advancing the mission of the Association.
c) Twelve individual members may petition the Executive 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 Executive 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 Executive 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 Association’s name, or is in conflict with the purposes and policies of the Association, or if it fails significantly to meet the agreed upon administrative and financial responsibilities to MEPRA.
h) Chapters are encouraged to form and foster Student Chapters.
5. The Secretariat
a) The administration of the Association is the responsibility of the Secretariat. The Secretariat is not a decision-making body and reports to the Executive Board.
6. The Board
a) The Board is composed of two groups:
- The Executive Board. The Executive Board is composed of up to nine members. It is the main decision-making body of the Association, composed of a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and up to five Executive Directors. It meets formally every month, and minutes of these meetings are circulated to both Boards and held on record. The number of Executive Directors may be increased, through a majority vote of the Executive Board and a ratifying majority vote of the next Strategy Board meeting.
- The Strategy Board. The Strategy Board supports and advises the Executive Board but has no statutory powers. It is composed of an unlimited number of members who are expected to attend at least four board meetings per year. Members of the Strategy Board form sub-committees to support the execution of the annual program of the Association and provide guidance and support to the Executive Board. Strategy Board members have no voting rights at the Executive Board meetings.
7. The Executive Board roles
a) The Chair shall preside over meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors. The Chair shall see that the Articles of the Association are observed and shall be an ex officio member of all committees. There is a two-term limit on the role of Chair.
b) The Vice Chair shall, in the absence of the chair, chair the Board meetings. There is a two-term limit on the role of Vice-Chair.
c) The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the Association and shall present a statement of finances at the Annual General Meeting of the Association covering other such statements from time to time as shall be requested by the Executive Board.
d) The Secretary shall be responsible for 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.
e) The Executive Directors are assigned roles by the Chair.
f) Remuneration – Board officers shall receive no direct or indirect remuneration for their services.
g) The term of Board positions is two years.
8. Executive Board responsibilities
a) Responsible for the reputation and good keeping of the Association.
b) Responsible for deciding the duties and responsibilities of each officer.
c) Have the authority to act on behalf of the Association.
d) Responsible for planning future policy, programs, speakers and events.
e) Responsible for all fundraising activities and ensuring they are executed in accordance with MEPRA’s guiding principles.
f) Have the right to veto policies, statements and activities of other chapters, sub-committees or bodies acting in the name of MEPRA.
g) Have the right to enforce policies on all members of the Association in accordance with this Charter.
h) Have the right to audit any activity or action taken by a member or chapter or sub-committee to protect MEPRA’s reputation.
i) 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.
j) May, at its discretion, invite other members to attend Board meetings as observers but without the right to vote.
k) May appoint sub-committees and invite any member of the Association to assist the Executive 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 Executive Board.
l) May engage staff and obtain office and other facilities as considered necessary, the costs of which will be paid out of membership dues.
m) May establish rules for the conduct of its business and the business of the Association.
n) A quorum of the Executive Board consists of two thirds of the total numbers of the Executive Board membership. In the event that a member of the Executive Board cannot attend a meeting where a vote will take place, that member of the Executive Board may in writing ask that a proxy on that issue cast his/her vote.
9. Election of the Boards
a) The Boards shall be elected from MEPRA’s members.
b) The election will take place at the Annual General Meeting to be held each year or at an Extraordinary General Meeting if required and agreed by a majority of the Executive Board.
c) The Executive Board shall be responsible for establishing the nomination and election process each year, provided always that: nominations for each office of the Boards will be invited from the members of the Association when giving notice of the Annual General Meeting. The Executive 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 Association. The Executive Board will circulate the list of nominations to members not less than two weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
d) Election will be by a simple majority of the members eligible to vote.
e) Voting will be by secret ballot.
f) All MEPRA members are eligible to vote in the election of the Strategy Board. Only members of the Strategy Board are eligible to vote in the election of the Executive Board. Only members of the Executive Board are eligible to vote in the election of Chair and Vice Chair. No member may vote for him or herself.
g) If for any reason a member of the Boards is unable to serve for a full two years the vacancy will be advised to the members and the Executive Board may fill the vacancy from any qualified candidates that express an interest in filling the vacancy. The decision of the Executive Board in relation to filling vacancies shall be final.
h) In order to ensure that the Executive 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.
i) To ensure that there is a good representation of the members on the Boards, all positions will be put up for election every two years. Elections will take place every year, with the Strategy Board elected in one year and the Executive Board elected the next.
j) Candidates standing for the Strategy Board and the Executive Board must be members of MEPRA; candidates standing for the Executive Board must have been members of MEPRA for at least 12 months. Candidates for the roles of Chair and Vice Chair must have served on the Strategy Board or Executive Board for a minimum of one year.
k) Members elected to the Boards should have at least 10 years of experience in public relations or related sectors, ideally including 4 – 5 years working experience in the region, be of good standing and recognized individuals for their services to the industry within the Middle East.
10. Management of member details – confidentiality
a) The Executive Board will maintain an up-to-date list of all members.
b) Member’s personal details will be kept confidential.
c) Anonymized membership information (gender, age group, salary group, work type etc) will be collected for research purposes and can be packaged and made available to third parties for commercial purposes.
11. Financial year
a) MEPRA’s fiscal year runs January 01 to December 31.
b) The Annual financial statement are presented on the Annual General meeting.
12. 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 Executive Board, Financial Report, Election of the Board and Election of the Auditor.
b) The Executive Board will call the Annual General Meeting giving reasonable notice to members.
c) The Executive Board shall give 14 days notice for any other general meetings at which official business of the Association is to be discussed. A general meeting may be called to coincide with a luncheon meeting or other event.
d) Any member of the Association may call an extraordinary general meeting by providing a petition to the Executive Board containing the signature of 15 MEPRA members.
e) Voting may be by a simple majority and in the event of a tie, the Chair 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 Executive Board in advance.
f) The quorum for a general meeting shall be the members present holding or representing 15% of the vote rights. If there is no quorum, the Chair has discretion to declare a quorum based on members present 30 minutes after the scheduled start time of the meeting.
g) Each general meeting will be chaired by the Chair or Vice Chair and failing that by another member of the Executive Board.
13. Association dissolution
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.
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.