PR, i.e., public relations. It’s such a misunderstood concept. And, for many companies, especially the super big ones, it seems to be an oxymoron. They don’t have the first clue about building a “relationship” with anyone, let alone their customers. Conversely, their idea of PR and spreading the word is paying big bucks to an agency to “apply the spin” to something inherently unremarkable and sending it out as “news”, thinking somehow we’re going to buy into it.
Try making the experience meaningful with heavy doses of relevant design, caring and honesty. Then, build relationships with people who share your view and are compelled to tell their friends and customers about it. That works much better.
The only time when relationships are less important is when the story in and of itself is overwhelmingly powerful. But, unless you have a concept like global warming, I wouldn’t bet the farm on that approach.