PRBlogNews New Media Lab Opens With MyMediaRoom

Thanks to everybody who has been sending in their new ideas for beta testing. This is a time of potentially great innovation in public relations and it’s good to see how many new trails are being blazed. We will highlight innovators and what they are trying to achieve through the PRBlogNews New Media Lab. Want to pitch PRBlogNews? See guidelines or make up your own rules.

Jonathan Arehart – MyMediaRoom 

Jonathan Arehart

Jonathan Arehart (left) did it right. A few weeks ago he sent around personal emails to bloggers to facilitate a discussion on “hyper-local” communities. The query was tied in with his new venture MyMediaRoom - a templated web portal for non-profits, smaller municipal organizations and groups who want to keep schedules, post events, and engage in dialogue.  Recently, Jonathan announced Commutal (described below). I have a particular interest in Jonathan’s venture since I have been managing a hyper-local community site, for six years. I do it with an eight year old copy of Dreamweaver and a rudimentary understanding of code. It is a frustrating, laborious process.  Jonathan is looking to take the sweat out of the backend so groups can focus on content and community. Blog discussion about MyMediaRoom here. Q & A with Jonathan follows.






PRBlogNews: What kind of success/obstacles are you facing?

Jonathan Arehart: We are having a lot of success with non-profits. People are learning about media rooms and how easy it is now to manage this content. On theMyMediaRoom contrary, there is a bit of a learning curve for some who might not be used to writing press releases or distributing that content. Our challenge is to make that whole process easier. Traditional wire services are good, but not good enough for the types of people and organizations we are targeting. Their audiences and needs are much more pragmatic. Local news is most relevant locally.

How is MyMediaRoom different from Commutal?

Think of MyMediaRoom as the publishing “back-end.” Organizations setup a media room with MyMediaRoom to manage their media content ( e.g., press releases, events). Commutal is the community. We call it “The Local Community Network.” Commutal is where business and trade groups bring their members online to share news, events, and other content via a community site.Commutal So this opens the doors for very targeted distribution of your media content from the organization’s end.

For example, now I can write my press release, immediately publish it on my web site via MyMediaRoom, and then share that press release with my groups via Commutal. If I’m a web design firm in Washington, DC, I could publish a new white paper through my local Chamber of Commerce along with a web design trade group. Commutal is the platform to make this possible.

Pick one “MyMediaRoom” – can you tell me what kind of impact this is having in the community, and do you have MyMediaRoomfeedback about usability?

Our model setup is taking place in our own local community here in Northern Virginia. The Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce  is deploying our group platform for its 1,000 business and non-profit members to share their news and events. The staff is working smarter by eliminating paperwork and redundancies. One local non-profit, the Center for the Arts  has realized an immediate benefit from using MyMediaRoom. Their staff has found it very easy to quickly get content out to their visitors such as event listings, event photos, and announcements.

MyMediaRoomWhat are your business plans with these properties?

We are aggressively bringing new groups online. This consists of formal associations in local communities like Chambers of Commerce as well as trade and industry groups. Our plan is to be the platform for these groups to create and build news communities around their members. This will be scaled out to include local ads, reviews, expert articles, questions and answers, and coupons/deals.


  1. These online media rooms, when used in conjunction with a press release distribution service like PRWeb or, are excellent places to post press releases.

    Remember, too, that we’re not trying to catch the attention of only journalists. We’re writing press releases for the end user—consumers who can find the release online and click through to our website.

    I created an entire free tutorial called “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.” By the time you’re done with it, it will be the equivalent of earning a master’s degree in press releases.

    You can opt into it at Look for the red headline near my photo.

  2. Mark Rose says:


    You bring up a point that I addressed with Jonathan. His model does not allow for the SMR – social media release – but perhaps that is too much to take in at the beginning stages of a hyper local community site. There is still a relatively patrician view of the “press release.”

  3. Hi Joan and Mark,

    These are certainly interesting times for PR and the press release. I do agree it is all in the distribution, and sites and services like PRNewswire, Business Wire, and PRWeb are (currently) the best way of doing that. That said, I see the proliferation of “hyper local” as a door to even more targeted distribution.

    On the social media press release, we do have native support for it. Here is an example of the first social media press release out of Germany via MyMediaRoom:

    There are a couple of new ideas out there for new press release formats, so it’ll be interesting to see how that all goes. Either way, we will try to support the standards that gain traction.


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