An old fashion and sometimes often used method today, to get links to your web site, is to use press releases with embedded links in those releases.
So you'd contract a press release distribution company and make sure that the content of the release have links to your web site. That release would hopefully be syndicated by other news outlets and those outlets will keep the links intact.
Matt Cutts of Google said in a Google Webmaster Help forums that links from press releases shouldn't have a positive impact on your rankings.
Note: I wouldn't expect links from press release web sites to benefit your rankings, however.
Now, when you do press releases, it might get your web site in front of the eyes of bloggers, reporters and others, where what they write or link to may have an impact on your rankings. But the links within the releases themselves, Google says - they won't benefit your rankings.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.
Update: SEO Consult blog tested this and found that press release links do help with ranking. Interesting...
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