It gives me great pleasure to report that applications for the thirteenth (!) annual SPIN Academy are now open, and are due by June 17. This four day residential training retreat for nonprofit communications professionals takes place every year in Northern California, and it’s a great resource for individuals looking to build their skills or their network of colleagues around the country working on similar issues and facing the same challenges. It’s also a lot of fun.
At last year’s event, we were lucky enough to have Chris Jordan, a multimedia producer, filmmaker and photographer on site to document what the SPIN Academy is all about. Here’s the video he produced for us:
The SPIN Academy has always been a special place where learning about strategic communications, storytelling and message development is combined with workshops like Op Ed writing, spokesperson skills, social media and other tactical skills that progressive communicators need to change hearts and minds on their issues. This year’s event is expanding into new areas like branding, brand messages and internal communications. The SPIN Academy continues to grow and change along with its participants and the shifting media environment.
It’s the passion our participants bring to the event that makes it worth all the time and hard work that goes into producing the SPIN Academy each year. You won’t meet a smarter, more dedicated group of individuals from a huge diversity of backgrounds coming together to learn something new and have their ideas challenged. It makes for four days of intensive learning, fascinating conversations, and new colleagues– and friends.
Our participants also benefit from the combined wisdom of dozens of Bay Area communications professionals who give generously of their time and experience because they care about they care about the field-building mission of the SPIN Academy (and because it never hurts to get out of the office for a little while to enjoy the rustic charms of Walker Creek Ranch in Marin County). We couldn’t do this even without them, and we’re deeply grateful for their support.
This year’s even represents a homecoming of sorts for me. My colleague Holly Minch and I have set up a fiscally sponsored project at Community Initiatives to house the SPIN Academy, and we’ll be managing it going forward with the help of an advisory committee made up of some of our colleagues who’ve been involved with the Academy over the years. Holly was actually present at the creation of the SPIN Academy, so this is indeed lucky number thirteen for her. I’m a relative newcomer to the event, but it was still the first thing I worked on when I joined the SPIN Project– and the field of nonprofit communications– back in 2002. Which means that I’ve been doing this work for a decade now. Time, as they say, flies.
If you know someone who could benefit from attending the SPIN Academy, if you’ve never been yourself and want to know what all the fuss is about, or if you’re a communications professional interested in supporting the Academy as a presenter or consultant, check out the info page, or just drop me a line.