Is distributing press releases to announce a new site effective? If so, where are the most logical, effective places to distribute them - online, offline? General publications, specialized targeted publications?
In my experience, PR is not nearly as effective as, say, two years ago. A new website is pretty much a big yawn these days, unless there's a really hot angle.
Two of my new clients this year went the PR route at launch, and they hired PR professionals. The results were very slim in print, and almost no traffic came to the website. It took search engine placement and advertising to get anything solid happening. In review, it was money and effort down the drain.
PR is as vast a field as SEO, and its changes are just as volatile. If you haven't checked this out, you may appreciate this resource for online PR (including a professional discussion list) at audettemedia.com [audettemedia.com].