Many people get their news from weblogs these days, rather than just traditional media. I read Deborah Branscum's all the time (buzz.weblogs.com), and I love what she writes about in her posts as much as or more than I love her Fortune.com columns. I've also managed to build relationships with various media people because we both maintain a blog, and we share information.
Many PR and advertising conglomerates have been losing money in the past couple of years because they're stuck in the past. Sure, advertising is good if you have something that's not newsworthy, but if you can't make something newsworthy then you shouldn't be doing PR in the first place. However, PR and advertising combined are more effective than using either of them alone.
Media is changing very quickly, though, and PR is definitely becoming more important. Weblogs are making media less centralized and more personal, and unlike the dot coms that fell, blogs will not fall because they're usually not for profit and they're cheap to maintain. Having a background in PR, especially media relations, is good for someone hoping to flood blogs with their message, or they can simply rely on old-fashioned "Google bombing."
Edelman made the famous mistake of not taking blogs seriously (to see what I'm talking about, go to Google and type in NUBlog+Edelman), and even though they guarantee better search engine placement for a client, many PR companies do not include them in netcom strategies.
The point I'm trying to make is this: Don't get stuck in the old glue of what's been tried and proven true. What was proven true ten years ago may not be true at all in today's world, market, etc.