Many people actually think that they are one and the same, but they are not.
Online Press Releases are great for SEO in that they do provide a large number of low power links, but they will not make a huge difference to rankings (although they may well be noticed by a journalist – I have managed to get someone on Local BBC radio this way).
Getting talked about by a journalist is another thing entirely and can result it many high power links on a number well used sites. These can generate a lot of highly relevant traffic.
However, it can take a long time to cultivate the right journalists and of course, you have to have a great story.
But get this right and it can pay dividends.
It really is horses for courses, or perhaps which horse you can afford in the first place, as it can take many hours to get the required co-operation of the ‘right journalist’, time in which many other links could have been built
However, with the power of these links in mind, if there are any journalists out there who would like a chat, I’d be very happy to connect.