September 2015

Hartford Symphony Orchestra Musicians Rally for Fair Contract

On September 8th 2015, Hartford Musicians and their supporters gathered outside the Connecticut State Capitol building to rally in support of Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Who are fighting for a fair contract since their last contract expired in 2013, and management asked them to concede to fewer services and 40% pay cuts. The AFM president, Secretary Treasurer for the AFM, ROPA Treasurer, ISCOM Chair, Connecticut AFL-CIO President, and many more important figures were present.

Bentley-Hall sent a writer to cover the event in person. She took pictures and videos of the rally in progress. This allowed Bentley-Hall to upload the images and video to International Musician’s social media and give real-time updates in breaking news coverage on their website. Bentley-Hall was the leading media source for this rally in the new digital environment to stir up more support and spread awareness of this issue that affects more than the Hartford Symphony Orchestra alone.

Covering issues in real-time is only one example of how Bentley-Hall goes further than what is expected of them. Tasked with printing a magazine and not PR, Bentley-hall still covers the important issues pertaining to their client. Creating breaking and authoritative content and publishing it online across all mediums.

June 2015

Summit Automotive Group Announces the Grand Re-opening of Summit Chevrolet Buick GMC

Auburn, NY – The Summit Automotive Group will host the grand re-opening the Chevrolet Buick GMC, located at 318 Grant Ave. Road, Auburn on June 22 at 4 p.m. Join us for free food and giveaways. Special guest Syracuse University basketball legend Roosevelt Bouie will be signing autographs from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. and the Joe Whiting Band will play from 5 p.m.–7 p.m.

“We’re proud to announce the grand reopening of the new Summit Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership. The upgraded 10,500 sq. ft. showroom and customer lounge will celebrate a whole new look for Summit Automotive Group and demonstrates Summit’s dedication to customer satisfaction,” states Steve DiMarco, Summit Automotive Group President/CEO.

An extensive $2.3 million remodeling project has transformed the dealership, inside and out. The project included a complete remodel to the new car showrooms, service department, and customer lounge area. “The new car showroom is now tied in with the service department. It is just beautiful,” states Lou Mangovski, Summit Automotive Group Chief Operating Officer. “You can drive directly into the dealership for service or sales, regardless the weather.”

The new building design features a valet-parking sales/service entry, and an upgraded lounge area with wi-fi, Internet-equipped workstation, 65” TV, leather seating, fresh popcorn, and coffee bar. These changes allow customers to make themselves at home while waiting at the dealership.

On top of that, the dealership’s car lots and interior have been outfitted with energy-efficient lighting. New LED parking lot lights have replaced pole-top and wall-mounted metal halide lighting through a grant from NYSEG’s Small Business Energy Efficiency Program. LEDs offer better quality lighting than metal halide lighting, a much longer life, and each LED fixture uses two-thirds less electricity than each metal halide fixture.

“We hope our customers enjoy their experience in our modern facility that has been updated in every way,” says Mangovski. “These upgrades provide the best buying and service experience and demonstrate our commitment towards enhanced customer service.”

Summit Automotive Group includes:  Summit Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, Auburn; Summit Ford-Lincoln, Auburn; Summit Dodge, Syracuse; Summit Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, Oneida; and Summit Car & Truck Center, Elbridge.

Ribbon cutting at the Summit Grand Re-opening celebration

May 2015

International Drum Month


Gather entries for the “Roadie for a Day” experience with Shannon Larkin, while raising awareness of IDM mission — to promote youth interest in drumming and connect drum retailers with the PMC — through a targeted social media campaign.


In-store stand-up promotional displays with Shannon Larkin’s photo were distributed to participating drum retailers to direct users to the PMC website to enter in the “Roadie for a Day” contest. Additionally, Google Adwords and Social Media campaigns raised awareness for International Drum Month and the “Roadie for a Day” contest.

 Pre-IDM Set Up

With the new IDM “celebrity spokesperson” Shannon Larkin in place in November, the PMC was able host a kickoff press conference at the Winter NAMM Show announcing the IDM campaign and began to recruit percussion retailers. Shannon produced a short video announcement that was used at the press conference as well as during IDM in the social media campaign.


Extensive changes in organization and content were made to the website in preparation for International Drum Month traffic. Webpages, tabs, links, pictures, plug-ins, and the homepage were either created or restructured to craft a better user experience. Not only was the site easier to navigate, but it also looked sharper and worked better.

This includes writing content to populate the site and social media streams.

Social Media Strategy

A targeted digital social media campaign aimed at a youthful (14 to 20-year-old) audience was used to drive them to the website. The IDM campaign promoted drumming as a healthy, alternative lifestyle activity for anyone. Potential drummers connected to the website 24/7 with an instant click-through — engaging them immediately with drumming and instructional material, videos, and drummer profiles.

IDM Stats

The 2015 IDM contest had an increase of 100% more entries compared to the 2014 campaign. Total Organic and Advertising impressions reached more 417,073 people. This does not include the people who learned about IDM by visiting the local music stores.

The website had an increase of over 160% viewership compared to the previous month’s normal traffic. We generated original content that was placed on the site and shared on social media to increase SEO efforts.

PlayDrums PMC gained a 220% increase on Instagram followers, a 14% increase of new Facebook followers, and a 4% increase of new Twitter followers. IDM posts organically reached a total of 154,119 users through Facebook outreach, compared to 64,440 users from 2014. During the month of May we averaged 1,700 daily impressions on Twitter with a 1.9% engagement rate. A normal month on Twitter generate around 600 daily impressions.

Communication to Retailers

Bentley-Hall created a series of educational emails for the retailers’ social media managers, as well as PMC member companies to notify them of the IDM social media campaign and provided simple message and tips on how to engage local communities in IDM promotions.

  • IDM Stand up Coming Your Way, 4/28/2015
  • #playdrums — May Is #InternationalDrumMonth, 5/4/2015
  • PMC Members: May is International Drum Month, 5/12/2015
  • Social Media Strategy for International Drum Month, 5/18/2015
  • International Drum Month Update, 5/21/2015
  • Final Push for International Drum Month, 5/26/2015


The Stand Ups and were distributed to the 87 participating locations. We were able to retain most of the same retailers that participated last year and added to the list with some voluntary sign-ons.

Sample Social Media and PMC Member Participation


This data from all online and in-store entries will provide a rich marketing outreach list. This list will allow the PMC to follow up with drummers and potential drummers through emails to promote future PMC consumer events/messages like: Make Music Day, Upcoming VWT Dates, Like Our FB Page, Visit Your Local Music Retailer for Back-to-School Specials, etc.

Now a winner will need to be selected with in the next few weeks, and it will be best if we can get pictures of the person to continue sharing this promotion even when it is not active. Pictures of the winner with Godsmack will be great for the trade and industry media. It will also be used to push the next IDM in 2016.

June 2014

Making Music Magazine Brings Make Music Day to Syracuse

Syracuse, NY — International Make Music Day is organized locally by Bentley-Hall, Inc., the Syracuse-based publisher of Making Music magazine. Make Music Day will take place Sunday, June 21, 2015. Make Music Day is a one-day event where free, live musical performances, opportunities to make music and other musical events take place around the world on the longest day of the year.

Syracuse Make Music Day is part of an international celebration of music that began in France (Fete de la Musique) in 1989, and has spread to more than 700 cities around the world. It was first brought to the US, in New York City, in 2007. Make Music Days have since been held in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Pasadena, Providence, Santa Fe, and several Canadian cities as well. Make Music Day is always held on June 21—the Summer Solstice.

What is the mission of Make Music Day? The mission of Make Music Day is to create a day of musical sharing that gathers people from diverse backgrounds together to celebrate the unifying power of music. All Make Music Day events are free, family-friendly, and not for profit, and organized by local volunteers and Making Music magazine.

“Make Music Day encourages a different perspective on music making,” says Making Music Editor-in-Chief Antoinette Follett, who spearheaded efforts to bring Make Music Day to the Syracuse. “Our city is teeming with musicians of all different genres and levels. Bringing them together to celebrate music is a powerful way to enrich our community and motivate others to make music a part of their daily lives.”

How can you take part?

Music makers of all types, abilities, and ages are encouraged to take part in the day’s events. The goal is to create a day of music making and awareness in the community. These are not concerts (no staging or amplification), but participatory events. The goal is to play together, not to give a perfect performance.

We have scheduled the following:
  • 1pm — “Second Line Syracuse” Parade at Skiddy Park
  • 1pm — Guitar League Jam /Armory Square Park
  • 2pm — Harmonica Lesson / Harmonicas provided —Armory Square Park
  • 2:30pm — Drum Circle / Armory Square Park
  • 3:00pm — Cajon Demo with Kevin Dean / Armory Square Park
  • 3:30pm — Ukulele Jam / Armory Square Park

Redhouse Rock Camp Jam — Students and teachers will be playing outdoors from 12pm-2pm in honor of Making Music Day! at W. Fayette and South West St. — the gateway to Armory Square.

Kellish Hill Farm will also participate with a Make Music Day Jam— Open to all music abilities and music styles. In the Music Barn or the Amphitheater, weathering permitting. Starting at 1pm with a 5pm break for a potluck dinner, at 3192 Pompey Center Rd; Manlius NY 13104;

Other events will continue to be added. If you are interested in participating in any of these events, or creating your own event, contact Making Music ( or find “Making Music Mag in CNY” on Facebook for more information.

About Making Music—Published in Syracuse, NY, by Bentley-Hall, Inc., Making Music is a national music lifestyle media source, founded in 2003. Its mission is to engage and inspire music makers and to encourage them to take part in their larger music making community. For more information, visit:

Harmonica Mass Appeal

Parade at Skiddy Park

Ukulele Mass Appeal

March 2015

24th Big East Camping & Outdoor Sports Show Featuring Jimmy Riffle from Gator Boys and Ernie L. Brown, Jr. “Turtleman”

Syracuse, NY – This year’s Big East Camping & Outdoor Sports Show will be held March 27–29 in the Event Center at Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, NY and is sponsored by Summit Automotive Group, Price Chopper, and AJ’s Archery. Don’t miss special appearances from Animal Planet celebrities: Ernie L. Brown, Jr. “Turtleman” and Jimmy Riffle.

  • Ernie L. Brown, Jr. “Turtleman” — from the hit Animal Planet TV show CALL OF THE WILDMAN. The show follows the exploits of Ernie L. Brown, Jr.’s nuisance animal removal business, while he catches and releases nuisance animals in Lebanon, Kentucky area.
  • Jimmy Riffle — from the hit series Animal Planet TV show GATOR BOYS. The show offers an up close and personal view with some of Florida’s most loved but also feared reptiles from the American Alligator to the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Watch as Jimmy Riffle along with Andy Riffle, Richard Decoste, Sara Barber, and Scott Cohen handle these wild animals, perform dangerous stunts and capture techniques as well as demonstrations with other native and exotic reptiles.

These shows are not only heart pumping, but educational for all ages creating an unforgettable adventure experience. For Jimmy Riffle and Turtleman show times and VIP Ticket Meet & Greet tickets, visit:

The Big East Camping & Outdoor Sports Show is exciting and informative for all ages. This year’s show will feature a variety of outdoor sport exhibits:
  • Boat dealers, RV dealers, and charters
  • Large Display of Remington Arms, H&R & Marlins Guns
  • Wildlife Defenders program with unique animals, such as African crested porcupines, capybara, wallaby, and much more
  • Free archery range for all ages presented by AJ’s Archery
  • Free seminars presented by pros
  • Trout pond for fishing
  • Kids casting contest with prizes (Saturday & Sunday only)
  • NY State big buck display

No other sports show has all this to offer!

DATES: Friday March 27th, 2-8 p.m.; Saturday March 28th, 10-7 p.m.; and Sunday 29th, 10-4 p.m.

Ticket prices are $9.00 per adult; children age 6-12 are $3.00; 5 and under free.  Present your Price Chopper Advantage Card to receive $1.00 off admission for one or visit our website to download a $1.00 coupon.  Offers cannot be combined.

For more information, visit:

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Ernie L. Brown, Jr. “Turtleman”

June 2014

Making Music Raises Money for Signature Music with Guitar Raffle

Former NY Yankee star turned musician, Bernie Williams, will perform the National Anthem at the Syracuse Chiefs game and then play a concert at Landmark Theater that the evening to support Signature Music. Signature Music is a Syracuse-based 501c3 nonprofit educational organization dedicated to providing music education, performance opportunities, and college guidance for teen musicians of all backgrounds.
To help raise additional money for Signature Music, Making Music magazine is raffling off a Baby Taylor Guitar autographed by Williams. Tickets for the raffle are $5, or you may purchase five tickets for $20. Tickets can be purchased at the ballpark or Landmark Theater on June 15, or visit the website to purchase tickets. The grand prize drawing for the guitar will be held August 2, 2014.

Bernie Williams and Making Music make a winning team!

Bernie Williams performing at the Palace Theater, Syracuse, NY.

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