Tom Foremski has highlighted a new social media news release service* called PRXBuilder. Currently in beta (and free to use), it is intended to provide an easy means of creating and distributing rich media releases.
However, the bit that caught my eye was an extra service called NewsAds - ie using Google AdWords to advertise and drive traffic to the original release. You can see why clients might like this idea - for example you choose to set a specific budget to try and drive particular levels of traffic - or indeed set a cap in case you have an unexpected "hit" on your hands (or at least be in control of how much you want to spend on a particular news release campaign).
Using PR to support advertising campaigns is as old as the hills - but using advertising to drive attention for a press release is a novel inversion of tradition. However, you do have to wonder how credible target consumers will find these ads - or indeed the news release itself if they've been led their by an ad.
*I'm making a conscious effort to refer to news releases rather than press releases these days - given that the new accepted wisdom is that they are intended for anyone but a journalist.