Here's the deal.
In 1992 I quit my job at Charles Schwab and decided to try to make a living as a writer. After three years of freelancing, scribbling in San Francisco, publishing a newsletter ("zine"?, remember those?), and doing work for a computer trade rag, I was lured into PR by the promise of a steady paycheck. Sixteen years, four PR agencies (five if you count my own brief solo career), and six in-house positions later, I've decided to turn around and bite the hand that fed me, curse the hand that dragged me into this hollow field, and critique it.
Hey PR, get those hands dirty! Do some real work and relate to the public. You can "influence the influencer" all you want, except you should know, the influencer is everywhere.
Yes, it's different now, but it still ain't rocket surgery.