In the Spotlight: Brandon Vogel

Brandon Vogel

New York State Bar Association

Social Media & Web Content Manager

How long have you been a member of NABE Comm:
I have been a member of NABE Comm for two years and attended the last two section workshops. I have been with NYSBA for 8.5 years.

When you were a kid, did you dream of being a Bar Association Executive?
Of course. It was either that or editor-in-chief of Spin Magazine. One of them happened.

If not, describe how you got to where you are today:
I started my career as a copy editor with a software company. After three years, I was ready for a change and wanted to create content. I started at NYSBA in November 2007 as a writer in our Media Services Department. Over time, that position evolved to encompass social media, web content development, production management and email marketing. I was promoted to Social Media and Web Content Manager in our Information Technology Department in September 2014. My past positions have been invaluable in my current role.

What is the most rewarding part of your job:
The most rewarding part for me is when a social media post goes viral and we initiate conversation. When members talk about what they’ve seen on our Twitter feed or Facebook pages, I know I’ve done my job. I also enjoy it when a member tells me what a great benefit our online communities are.

What is the most challenging part of your job:
The most challenging part is balancing social media, the web site and our online communities. Any one of those duties could be a full-time job. Some days, social media takes up the bulk of my day, whereas other days I spent most of my time working on communications launch plans for communities and/or assisting members with the website and other technology. I seem to strike an appropriate balance between the three, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

If you weren’t a bar executive, what would you want to be?:
A professor of U.S. history or pop culture studies.

What is your greatest accomplishment:
Personally, my two boys. Professionally, having my social media work for “Love Your Lawyer Day” mentioned in the Wall Street Journal was a particular high for me, as was achieving record numbers that week. As a writer, it was telling the story of a lawyer who saved the lives of thousands of women in Kenya.

What is the best piece of advice that you ever received through NABE?:
Emphasize the quality of your content over the quantity.

What would you tell someone new to the crazy world of Bar-Executive-dom?:
You are going to meet some of the best people in your field who are all willing to help you. I only wish NABE Comm I had joined sooner.

What makes you successful in your position?
I have never shied away from any assignment, no matter how small it seems. Because of that, I can recall more details and work more efficiently. I also genuinely enjoy my work, which I think carries through.

What does your bar do better than most?  Where do you shine?
I think our bar association has been at the forefront of technology and connecting members. Facilitating and communicating that value is one of my strongest skills.

What’s your favorite website or app?:
For work: Twitter

Personally: Instagram and Facebook, as well as USA Today and

Do you have a motto?
Take the high road; there’s never a crowd.

Any interesting celebrity sightings or run ins:
I have had three celebrity sightings. I saw Denzel Washington filming John Q in Montreal my freshman year of college during a long weekend. A few years later, I saw Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith walking around (relatively anonymously) in Greenwich Village (he’s giant in person). This was around the time he was filming Hitch. My most interesting sighting (as a child of the 80s/90s) would be seeing Coolio at the Marriott in Indianapolis in 2012. He looked annoyed to be recognized by fans (I wasn’t one of them), but he had a custom Coolio vanity plate on his Rolls Royce and he still has the same hairstyle (a dead giveaway ,if you ask me).

Favorite band/album/concert of all time:
Bands: U2 and Pearl Jam
Album:  U2’s Achtung Baby
Concert: Rolling Stones

Favorite Book:
Nick Hornby’s About A Boy. Jancee Dunn’s But Enough About Me is a more recent favorite. I couldn’t put it down. She was a Rolling Stone reporter in the 90s/early 00s and she tells the stories of her best (Stevie Nicks) and worst (anyone who uses the word ‘blessed‘) interviews.

Favorite movie:
It depends on the day you ask me so I’ll give you my top 5: Airplane!, Coming to America, The Goonies, Clue & All The President’s Men.

Person you would most like to have dinner with (alive or dead):
Dead: Mark Twain
Alive: Tina Fey, although my dine-around at NABECOMM15 with Tracey DeMarea and Co. was pretty entertaining.