The old way of doing business has changed once again thanks to Google's decision on link schemes. For those of us who write press releases, we need to be careful not to add certain anchor links from the release as Google may negate this link and harm our SEO capabilities, or in Google-speak. "Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results"
Google is probably doing the right thing here as they view PR as company advertisements and are trying to reduce the amount of excessive cross linking sites may use to over promote their "news".
Essentially, Google is encouraging sites to create relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.