After I posted how researchers apparently often don't get to vet press releases before they are published, a vigorous discussion regarding the topic occurred on Twitter, which I've created a Storify post for, embedded in full below.
So where to go now? We should quantify how big a problem this actually is, or whether me and Maggie Koerth-Baker simply ran across some unusual anecdotes. The National Association of Science Writers might be a good place to go to quiz public information officers in academia, government, associations and companies regarding their practices. We also want to go to scientists, in case we're running across issues such as whether some authors on a paper are getting contacted while others are not. More to come!