A high profile link that does not help you rank better can be leverated as a "seen on TV" validation of your credibility. An authoritative thumbs demonstrates you are legit and worthy of a link.
Even a mention within an offline publication that is prestigious can be leveraged for links. I say this from personal experience. Being able to boast that your site was featured here, here, and there helps boost your credibility. It's the "as seen on TV effect." Just because something is not online does not mean it is not useful online.
Regularly scan your referrer stats to bookmark links from unsolicited authoritative sources and fold them into future link building efforts.