Bylaws – Annual Congress
The annual congress serves as the main platform to become involved in the EUPRERA mission – to create and disseminate innovation – by presenting recent academic research, sharing experiences with PR professionals, stimulating innovations in PR education, projects and networks and hosting the main General Assembly (GA). The congress should be attractive, easy to reach and affordable for as many members and academics/professionals as possible. Annual congresses are major international events lasting 2 full days in autumn with participants from all over Europe and elsewhere.
- Guidelines to choose the venue
All EUPRERA institutional members are encouraged to organize an annual congress. When judging proposals for future congresses, the Board of Directors (BoD) ensures that:
a) the congress organizer is an academic or professional in public relations/communication, who:
- is backed by the university or professional association that hosts the congress;
- can obtain financial and organisational support from the university/association or from sponsors;
- is able to organize a congress and to engage internationally renowned keynote speakers.
b) the venue (congress building/site) should be:
- easily accessible from the airport and/or main railway station and the hotels;
- suitable to host a plenary session (up to 250 persons) plus parallel sessions (up to six), plus spaces for poster sessions, registration, buffet.
- Selection of the venue
To be selected as a congress organiser, the EUPRERA institutional member applies in writing to the board at least 2 years in advance. The application form includes the motivation, timing, place and theme proposal. Applications are discussed by the BoD and feedback is provided immediately after the meeting. For a period of 5 years, the congress organisation will not be entrusted to a university or institute of the same country.
The BoD selects and approves the hosting venue, approves the congress dates and approves the congress theme proposed by the local organizer; these details are presented to the members on the occasion of the first GA. The congress organiser nominates a person responsible to keep in close communication with the BoD until the congress has been held. This procedure allows the congress organiser to closely follow the organisation of at least one preceding EUPRERA annual congress. The BoD supports the local organizer during all phases, especially through:
- Constant contact with the DPRA (director of public relations and administration, available at email@example.com).
- Frequent board meetings during which proposals from the local organizer can be discussed.
On the other side, the local organiser is expected to:
- Fulfil the rules indicated in the bylaws.
- Align constantly with the BoD, through the direct contact with the DPRA. This refers especially to crucial activities (call for papers, website, fees, programme) and also minor aspects that can secure a successful congress.
- For any scientific activity, cooperate and align with the head of the scientific committee designated by EUPRERA.
The congress is preferably be announced as follows:
EUPRERA (YEAR) Congress
in co-operation with the “ORGANISER”
Logos of EUPRERA and congress organizer(s) must be equally present.
The working language is English.
The theme is proposed by the congress organiser. It is discussed with the BoD which finally approves the theme.
- Call for papers
It is the responsibility of the congress organiser to disseminate a call for papers at least 1 year in advance, after the approval of the BoD on the content. A two-step selection is to be followed: the initial call is for abstracts; after the first reviewing process those authors who have met the reviewing criteria are invited to submit full papers.
- Vetting procedure
The EUPRERA Head of the Scientific Committee is responsible for organising the vetting process for papers submitted for a presentation and for publishing the list of members of the vetting committee on the congress website. The head of the scientific committee and the members of the committee are appointed by the board for a period of one year, which can be prolonged (see specific bylaws). Authors submit their abstracts and papers through the web-based system provided by EUPRERA, which ensures anonymity and allows access to reviewers. Every abstract is vetted by a minimum of two reviewers (double blind review); full papers are reviewed by one reviewer or, in case they are listed for the best paper award or publication, by two reviewers (double blind review).Panel proposals are also welcomed and do not go through the standard review process: they are evaluated by the Head of the Scientific Committee together with the congress organizer, and finally approved by the BoD. The Head of the Scientific Committee provides a final ranking and decides jointly with the congress organiser the congress agenda (full programme) . The number of submissions, accepted papers/posters and rejections, as well as the full programme, are communicated to the BoD.
10.1 Registration fee
The registration fee for EUPRERA members should be as low as possible and lower than for other participants. Only those with a paid EUPRERA membership can benefit from the special registration fee for EUPRERA members. Participants joining EUPRERA during the congress are offered a special package fee. Participants of the organizing country can be admitted under the same conditions as EUPRERA members. Other participants pay a substantially higher registration fee. Main categories of participants should consist of:
- EUPRERA members
- EUPRERA new individual membership + congress registration
- PhD students (congress only / seminar only / congress+seminar) – see art. 13
- Accompanying person
Fee includes attendance at the congress, coffee-breaks, lunch(es), congress materials and possibly the gala dinner. The congress organizer must also offer a special price for early registrations (discount of minimum 50 €, till minimum 2 months in advance), except for specific cases where it cannot apply for reasons of force majeure (i.e. PhD seminar fees, due to a deadline overlapping).
Registrations and payments are managed by the congress organisers, using the web-based system provided by EUPRERA.
- Board members
- Who takes part in the BoD meeting only, do not pay any fee.
- Who takes part in the BoD meeting and attends the congress pays the “accompanying person” fee.
- Who takes part in the BoD meeting, attends the congress and presents a paper pays the standard registration fee for EUPRERA members.
- Members who serve EUPRERA leading core activities (Head of Scientific Committee, coordinators of PhD seminar and awards) who are not presenting any paper have their registration fee paid by EUPRERA.
- Honorary members: the congress organiser can decide to allow them to register for free.
- Keynote speakers: the congress organiser can decide to allow them to register for free.
- Winners of students’ awards (see art. 10.2, 10.3): the congress organizer covers their registration fees.
10.2 EUPRERA Bachelor and Master Awards
The BoD decides yearly whether to issue one or both these awards. The ceremony takes place during the annual congress. The sponsorship, provided by an external sponsor or EUPRERA itself, covers the winners’ travel and accommodation costs (up to € 500 each winner), plus a cash prize when foreseen. The winners benefit of a free registration for the congress full programme, covered by the congress organizer.
10.3 EUPRERA PhD Award
The award usually takes place every two years and the ceremony takes place during the annual congress. The sponsorship, provided by an external sponsor or EUPRERA itself, covers the winners’ travel and accommodation costs (up to € 500 each winner), plus a cash prize when foreseen. The winners benefit of a free registration for the congress full programme, covered by the congress organizer.
The congress organiser can make agreements with sponsors, also including their logo on the congress materials, making sure to respect the limits indicated in the specific EUPRERA bylaws for sponsorship and partnership. The board must be informed of any sponsorship in order to verify the alignment with EUPRERA’s core values, as specified in the By-Law section on sponsors.
10.5 Participation in risk and profit
As regards the financial risk and profit, the cooperation between EUPRERA and the congress organiser is determined as follows: the congress organiser is fully responsible regarding financing, taxes and liability.
Some flexibility is allowed because of the European educational diversity (semester systems, start of academic year, exam periods, specific celebrations). Preferably, the annual congress takes place in week 39 or 40.
- Thursday (morning): BoD meeting.
- Thursday (afternoon): reception and opening (with keynote speaker/s).
- Friday: keynote speaker (plenary session) and papers presentations (parallel sessions).
- Friday late afternoon: EUPRERA Assembly, which consist of EUPRERA Hour (awards ceremonies, projects presentations) and General Assembly.
- Friday evening: gala dinner.
- Saturday morning: papers presentations (parallel sessions) and closing session
- Saturday afternoon: informal/social activities.
In the programme, not too many sessions could compete at the same time. Chairmen and keynote speakers should include EUPRERA members and should be from different countries and the organisers shall seek a gender balance.
For parallel sessions, 20 minutes per paper should be considered (10-12 min presentation + remaining time for switching between presenters, introduction and Q&A). As a consequence, sessions could be of either 60 min (3 papers), 75 min (4 papers), 90 min (5 papers, even if a bit tight).
A so-called book corner has to be foreseen as an integral part of the programme: it is an area devoted to display the latest publications of members, partners and EUPRERA itself. The congress organiser will be responsible for its organisation, as well as for collecting the books starting at least three months before the congress.
- PhD Seminar
Following the congress, the PhD seminar is organised from Saturday afternoon to Monday. When possible, also a pre-meeting during the congress is organised for those who are already present. There is a maximum of 12 participants to optimize interaction and supervision. A special fee has to be offered to the PhD Seminar participants (congress+seminar).The congress organiser provides the following:
- Meeting room.
- Accommodation from Saturday until Monday.
- Supervisor(s) (in cooperation with the BoD).
- Papers and proceedings
Full papers are made available on the congress web-based system for 4 weeks after the congress, accessible for all congress participants. EUPRERA selects the papers to be published in the series of EUPRERA congress books and those to be entered a second selection for the publication on the affiliated journal.
- Promotion and ICT
EUPRERA provides a page and periodical news on its website. Information and reminders are circulated among members and potential members. EUPRERA also provides the URL for the congress website (www.euprera.org/congressYEAR) as well as an e-mail box (congressYEAR@euprera.org). The congress organiser makes a proposal to the BoD regarding the visual identity of the congress and takes care of the creation of the congress website. The local organiser also promotes the congress among local academics, students, practitioners, agencies and associations. The DPRA of EUPRERA and the congress organiser continuously align on promotional initiatives.
- Practical topics
The BoD strongly suggests to:
- Allow participants to pay their fee by credit card directly on the congress website.
- Negotiate hotel rates to offer different price levels and, if feasible, provide online hotel reservation.
The DPRA will provide all practical instructions to manage the single processes.