People flee sellers, especially in a bad economy.
Public relations was born and thrived for many years on the wave of mass media – newspapers, television news, and magazines, for example. It’s quite logical to think that if you get someone else to talk about how great your company is, then you are much more likely to gain public trust. Gaining trust helps you sell your products better.
In a connected world, citizen journalists will also begin and continue to gain credibility and trust. While the demands for news of so many online communities continues to grow, we’re already seeing many start to view certain bloggers and peers as filters.
By definition, public relations is the art and science of establishing relationships between your organization and its key audiences. You gain exposure to groups and individuals by using useful topics and timely content directly and through third parties, while no money exchanges hands.
I associate PR closely with branding, they’re both about behavior and reputation
via Conversation Agent: How do you Do PR Without Looking Like You’re Selling Something?.