PR guy David Meerman Scott has an excellent (and free) publication on his site about using press releases to reach customers (and by extension, potential campaign supporters) directly. Some quick points:
- A release sent out through a newswire (PR Newswire, US Newswire, etc) spreads throughout the online world and is reprinted and republished extensively.
- A release whose title and content are written with web searchers in mind has a big advantage and can help steer readers/potential supporters interested in your subject to your site, where you can capture them. Too many press releases are filled with jargon, gobbledy-gook and vapor.
I write about this subject in the e.politics section on spreading the word about your site or campaign, but he goes into much more detail. Well worth reading! (Thanks to the Miami Herald for sending me to it in the first place.)