"Though a tree that falls in a forest and is not heard makes no sound, still, it falls."
I would suggest you stop worrying about press and worry about reaching individuals users. Word of mouth and all that. For inspiration, you might read the story here behind this guy's business:
(I saw this on HN somewhere previously. Thanks to whomever posted it before me.)
I am very much doing the grass-roots thing for one of my projects. I get a lot of flack and relatively little positive response. I actively discourage people from heaping public praise upon me because it causes nothing but trouble. I am frequently discouraged. But the humble, reaching out to the people approach I am taking is gradually working whereas attention-mongering never did anything but backfire and alienate people. Whatever you are doing is unlikely to be as touchy a topic as what I am doing, so you probably don't need to bend over backwards to avoid "good press" when it does come. You may just need to look for other means to validate that you are getting somewhere. Press is not everything.
Good luck with this.