If you're really passionate about your work, people will notice and they'll want to talk to you, profile you, and write about you. I think it's misguided to actively seek press; instead publish your work to share it and better connect with like-minded people (this is one of the basic tenants of Instructables), and interested people (including mainstream press) will come looking for you. Obscurity is far worse than any form of intellectual property theft, and by sharing what you do, you are far more likely to attract potential partners and people wanting to help than you are to give something to a perceived competitor. Plus, you'll start to be known as someone who does cool stuff, and that will attract even more opportunities.
To get recognition, apply all the same things about telling your story from Step 7 What to Work On. Your work maybe great, but if no one can find it, they'll never contact you. Start a blog, post Instructables, post videos, create a portfolio of your work, and generally take the time to carefully document what you're doing and building. Putting the extra effort into documentation really pays dividends for a long time, because you'll find yourself using the material over and over. For example, the canonical ice-kite-butt-boarding video
wasn't the best of a number of similar different videos, it was the only nicely edited video we made, and so I keep showing it over and over.
We applied and were accepted to present a number of our projects at various conferences, and from there started getting press inquiries. Some of the first press about Squid Labs was Wired's The Dream Factory article
, where we debuted Instructables. This piece was the result of those conference presentations, some connections from the Media Lab, us being ourselves, and freely telling people what we were up to.