alika - 10:21 am on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)
Wheel ... I agree with you. While we don't use the phone to call and ask for links, we do have a target list of top bloggers/thought leaders that we follow and try to build relationships with (read their blogs and send them a personal email with our thoughts, respond and comment on their Twitter posts, etc). Later on, it becomes easier to let them know (via email or DM on Twitter) that we have this new blog post or article and they link back to it from their site.
It took time to build these relationships, but it certainly helped in getting these folks more willing to link to us.