Crystallizing Public Opinion: Edward Bernays, Stuart Ewen: 9781935439264: Amazon.com: Books
You have to frame the Press Release differently than you are currently. You have to make it a press release capable of being translated into "news". Simply winning these awards does not have enough merit on its own to generate any 'fucks' whatsoever.
That being said, it would seem that you only have the task of pushing the release, not generating it.
Cold calls, they suck, no one likes to do it. A single phone call to a person that coincidently just drank a pumpkin spice latte can go a long way. If you stay diligent, connecting with people not only when you need placement, something will happen. It may not happen instantly, but if you keep trying you'll succeed.
Worst case scenario, you find the address of where the person works, have someone deliver coffee and donuts.