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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].