There are a ton of things you can do differently with this design, from the color choices down to the way the links are set up. Here are just a few to try out:
Try making the icons look and act like physical buttons by using the border styles outset and inset.
Switch the icons from the left side of the help and press-release links to the right. Then write styles to change the side on which the icon appears based on whether or not the link has been visited.
Completely remove the background image from any help or pr link that has been visited and adjust the padding to close up the icon's space. Remember that this might lead to a reflow of the document because the link won't consume as much space without the icon as it did with it.