I believe most misconceptions about public relations stem from a historic image that PR = advertising = manipulation. Many are uncomfortable with the idea of participating in such an equation, as well as with the idea of trying to toot their own horns. Yet they are keenly aware of the necessity of standing out in the crowd.
Thus, it is naturally easier (because less participatory) for them to seize upon the advertising agency which offers "public relations as an accommodation," promising them everything they want--and more. Perhaps the column will help set some of this thinking straight.