Thought I'd share a bit about using press releases as an internet marketing tool, based on our recent experiences.
We at Eagle Productions (NZ) have done quite a bit of research on press release services recently and we use them here frequently to "spread word" about our various sites and activities from here in far-off New Zealand to our biggest market (by far), Americans. >From this we find doing press releases to be quite effective.
While it's hard to quantify precise results of press releases, one thing just seems to lead to another (and usually leads to valuable "contacts and exposure" - "exciting, naughty and nice!")...and I do find submitting them to be a most effective form of advertising in "on and off-line world". Together with submitting my articles to announcement lists, like Article Announce, Free Content and Publish in Yours. That is our MAIN internet marketing strategy.
A quick word of advice in writing press releases...It is vital that press release about your business is newsworthy and try to capture attention with a good "catchy" headline. Make it "spicy and add 'zing' (like KFC) to make it sizzle!"
Also you can send your news release by "snail mail" or by e-mail. I do all my submissions to these services via e-mail.
Recently we've had a number of releases about our activities here on other side of world published by PR Web, which is a free service ("cheapskate"!)... and traffic to our sites mentioned has increased substantially already. Their address is: http://www.prweb.com.
Incidentally, we have two releases "up there" at: