Become a Member
Congratulations on considering a leadership role with the National School Public Relations Association. NSPRA is the professional association for those who are committed to improving public relations and communication in schools and between schools and the communities they serve. NSPRA has a long history of dedicated leaders, who have worked hard to create and sustain the financially-sound and membership-strong association that serves you today. That commitment to professional development and true collegiality among members is a hallmark of the association. You are to be commended for aspiring to carry on that tradition by becoming an NSPRA leader.
Serving as an officer of the NSPRA Executive Board takes time and energy, but as past officers will attest, it is also an opportunity to stretch yourself professionally and strengthen your leadership skills for the future. You also have a chance to travel to other chapters, meet new people and make a positive contribution to our profession and to education.
The following information provides an overview of the process of running for an NSPRA office. Review the information carefully to determine your eligibility and to better understand the responsibilities and commitment associated with serving as an officer of the NSPRA Executive Board. Much of the information comes directly from the NSPRA Bylaws and the NSPRA Policy Manual.
Source: NSPRA Policy 205.12
Officers of the association must be association members who are eligible to vote and to hold office. They should meet the association’s standards for school public relations professionals. They should have demonstrated interest in and commitment to the goals and objectives of the association and the activities necessary to the achievement of those goals.
Officers are expected to attend regular and special Executive Board meetings as well as other necessary meetings and appearances on behalf of the association. They should have the approval of their employer to run for office.
A. To be eligible to be a candidate for an NSPRA elective office, members must:
B. A member may not run for office if:
C. It is preferred that a candidate for NSPRA president-elect be accredited in public relations (APR).
Source: NSPRA Policies 205.13, 225.13
There shall be an Executive Board Search Committee (EBSC) comprised of seven association members representing each of the seven association regions, and one association member who is a racial minority. The Executive Board shall appoint the members of this committee and specify their terms of office. The term of office of each member of the EBSC expires in the same year as the vice president from his or her region (or the vice president for diversity engagement). The president-elect shall appoint one member to serve as their chair.
The EBSC shall:
A call for candidates shall appear annually in the association’s primary member publication (Member Memo) and be posted on the website. Information should be sent to all chapter presidents in January to inform them about the nominating process and to ask them to encourage strong candidates to seek NSPRA offices.
April 1 is the deadline for candidates to submit the required materials to EBSC declaring their desire to run for NSPRA offices that will become vacant in October.
By April 25, the EBSC will complete its work of securing candidates.
By May 1, the EBSC chair shall report the results of its search to the NSPRA president and executive director. The official slate of candidates will be announced in the next issue of the association’s primary member publication (Member Memo) and be posted to the association website.
The EBSC shall introduce the slate of candidates to the membership at the Annual Meeting of the association, which is held on Sunday during the NSPRA National Seminar.
Once you have determined your eligibility and made a decision to run for office, you must submit the following materials to the EBSC by the April 1 deadline:
Submit all materials:
The EBSC must determine its recommended slate of candidates by May 1. Once the slate is submitted to the NSPRA Executive Board, candidates are official and will be notified by the EBSC that they may begin their formal campaigns. Candidates must agree to abide by the association’s policies on campaigning for office. These policies were implemented to clarify the campaign process, ensure all candidates have an equal opportunity, and avoid potential campaign conflicts.
Source: NSPRA Policy 205.140
Note: Questions about campaigning before someone is announced by EBSC as an official candidate are addressed in the Q&A section of this webpage.)
An official candidate for elective office must adhere to and ensure that his/her supporters adhere to the following requirements. In addition, the candidate must sign the Executive Board Candidate Campaign Pledge.
A. General Campaign Practices
B. Campaign Practices at the NSPRA Seminar
C. Campaign Tables
The association is guided by an Executive Board that is composed of 10 elected and two appointed officers:
NSPRA is a non-profit corporation whose structure and operation is determined by Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, which can be amended by a majority vote of the membership, and Policies, which are adopted by the Executive Board.
The Executive Board meets three times each year (in November, March and July) for a two- or three-day session. The association pays for officers’ transportation, lodging and per diem expenses for the November and March meetings. Because the July meeting is held in conjunction with the annual National Seminar, the association pays lodging and per diem expenses for the meeting days only. Board members are responsible for transportation to the Seminar site and for their lodging and expenses during the Seminar. Board members do receive a 50% discount on Seminar registration. Board members also receive a nominal budget to assist in their chapter outreach responsibilities.
In addition to attending these meetings and working with other board members and the executive director, officers are expected to promote the association, be liaisons to association committees and the state chapters in their region, work to recruit and retain members, welcome new members, and help to ensure that the association meets the needs of its members.
Source: NSPRA Bylaws, Article III Executive Board
The NSPRA Bylaws outline the powers and duties of the Executive Board as follows:
Official decisions of the board can be arrived at only at duly constituted meetings, or in an emergency, through a telephone conference call. Individual board members or groups of members do not have authority to speak for the board or to make any commitments on behalf of the board, except as provided in the Bylaws or by specific board direction.
Source: NSPRA Policy 205
The president of the association shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board and of the association, or arrange for a presiding officer. He or she, in conjunction with the board and the executive director, shall prepare programs for the Annual Meeting and other meetings of the association, shall appoint all committees not otherwise provided for in the Bylaws, and shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of all committees.
The president shall chair the board and shall have the same right as other members to discuss questions and to vote on resolutions and motions. He or she shall call meetings of the board and shall perform such other duties as are commonly associated with this office.
The president-elect shall assist the president and shall assume the duties of the president in his or her absence. The president-elect is also encouraged to: (1) work with NSPRA regional vice presidents to promote NSPRA with the state chapter leadership; (2) develop a network of resources for chapter leaders; and (3) periodically update chapter leaders on NSPRA activities.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of president, the president-elect shall at once succeed to the office of president to fill out the unexpired term, and shall continue to serve as president for the full term to which he or she was elected.
Vice presidents shall be members of the Executive Board, and in that capacity, shall work for the good of the association as a whole.
Regional vice presidents are directly responsible for communications contact and activity between the board, the executive director and national office, and the chapters, state/province coordinators, and individual members in their respective regions. They shall keep chapters and members informed of association activities, policies, and other pertinent information, and will bring the region’s concerns to the board
The vice president for diversity engagement shall bring to the board the perspectives of the association’s racial minorities and urban, majority minority, and increasingly diverse school districts.
The two vice presidents at large are appointed by a majority vote of the elected members of the Executive Board to two-year terms. The purpose of this position is to provide the Executive Board with membership representation or expertise that is not provided through the election process.
As a member of the board, the vice president:
As a representative, the vice president:
As a regional vice president (elected), the vice president:
As vice president for diversity engagement (elected), the vice president:
As a vice president at large (appointed), the vice president:
Source: NSPRA Policies 120.1, 120.2 and 205.07
NSPRA requires all members to abide by two codes of ethics – the NSPRA Code of Ethics and the North American Public Relations Council Uniform Code of Ethics. In addition, NSPRA policy prescribes the following code of ethics for its officers.
Members of the Executive Board of the Association shall endeavor to:
Source: NSPRA Policy 205.15
While serving on the Executive Board, NSPRA members shall not be paid any financial remuneration for services rendered to the association.
Executive board members shall refrain from local, regional or national activities that may have a negative effect on national association activities, programs, products or services.
Forms: Required for Candidate Nominations
Source: NSPRA Policy 205.13
All those seeking to be considered as a candidate for NSPRA office by the Executive Board Search Committee must complete and submit the following documents, along with the other required candidate materials, by April 1 via email to the EBSC chair (view contact information) or mail to EBSC c/o NSPRA Headquarters, 15948 Derwood Road, Rockville, MD 20855.
Forms: Election Complaints
Source: NSPRA Policy 205.141
Following are some questions asked in the past regarding running for an NSPRA office. If you have a question about elections and campaigning, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question and NSPRA's response may be posted here in the future to benefit all potential candidates.
Active campaigning involves presenting oneself as an official candidate for NSPRA office. Only those individuals approved by the Executive Board Search Committee and recommended on its official slate of candidates may present themselves as candidates for office.
Speaking to people about your interest in running for office in the future or mentioning informally that you are considering a run for office would be considered theoretical conversations.
If it is presented as a truly exploratory committee and not a campaign committee, yes.
As part of their nomination materials, eligible association members who decide to run for office must supply the Executive Board Search Committee with a minimum of two supporting letters of nomination from NSPRA colleagues in good standing (i.e., those who hold a current membership). Letters of support intended for that usage can be secured in anticipation of filing a candidate packet.
However, you cannot announce endorsements or supports for your candidacy before you become an official candidate who is approved and presented by EBSC. On a personal basis, you may ask individuals if they are willing to commit to you that, should you be approved to run by EBSC, they will support you as a candidate.
This is an area to exercise caution. Only those individuals approved by EBSC and recommended on its official slate of candidates may present themselves as candidates for office. So long as you do not actively campaign for votes or present yourself as an official candidate, it is generally not a violation to engage in theoretical conversations - publicly or privately - about a potential candidacy.
NSPRA Policy 205.141 outlines the campaign complaints and enforcement process. Failure to comply with or violations of that policy and/or the NSPRA Executive Board Candidate Campaign Pledge may result in actions ranging from an oral or written reprimand to disqualification.
Uncontested candidates may be affirmed by acclimation of the NSPRA Executive Board during the Annual Meeting in July and candidates for contested offices will be selected by voters in August, but all successful candidates officially assume office on the board on October 1. Their official board membership begins on October 1.