Public relations is a big industry. As such, it has its fair share of cringe-worthy moments. For instance, late last month, when a PR rep contacted reporters and offered to pay them money to write favorable blogs about their client. This is an elementary-level no-no that is taught in journalism and public relations schools throughout the U.S.
In my journalism school, it was framed as the separation of church and state in the newsroom: the entity seeking to pay money to get its message across was directed to the advertising department. The newsroom was walled off from that transaction so as not to unduly influence the fair and objective newsgathering process.