Sure it takes more time but the results are night and day. One is a finger crossing strategy. That is, you write the release, you put it out on the wire, and you hope to God someone opens it. Instead, we find journalists who should be interested based on past articles, source their contact information, write a pitch that appeals to them and their audience specifically, and send it in an email.
PR: the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Usually through TV, online magazines, blogs, podcasts, and radio.