I hope it provides a good starting point for the people who were hoping to do some of that sort of stuff on their own:
In the last session of my class (Social Media Marketing @ UCLA Extension) we wound up spending some time discussing public relations and social media; how they tie together and what tools you might use. We focused primarily on the press release as a SEO tool but it’s great to note that in general social media are perfect for public relations efforts, especially efforts of an 0ver-taxed many-hat-wearing marketing/PR/etc professional at a small company.
On the other hand, there are plenty of (free!) social media tools to use in your PR efforts, some for press release distribution, others for making the most of your time and finding connections where your efforts will be most likely to be mutually beneficial to you/your company and the blogger/journalist/etc you’re trying to reach. http://myprbrain.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/pr_tools_in_social_media/