There was a tactic a couple of years back which went like this: issue a press release with a link in it. Get thousands of free links when the release is distributed and appears on auto-gen sites. Worked ok for a while, but then the search engines got wise to it. Now, the value is mostly just PR again (as in Public Relations), and the aim is to get picked up by “real” news sites.
PRWeb have just released a tool called SEO Wizard, in which “….a computer algorithm analyzes the keyword structure within press releases and provides users with reports that guide them in refining their press releases using the best keywords and phrases”.
Lee Odden has an overview of the functionality here.
The keyword phrase data looks interesting…