Recently I came across a joke about PR. A mathematician, an accountant and a public relations officer apply for the same job. When asked by the interviewer "what does two plus two equal?" the mathematician and accountant say, '4'. The public relations officer responds: "What do you want it to equal?"
Here's what I've learned about relationship between PR people and their clients. There's several particular things clients want from communication agents. First, to be told what to say; even if they know what to say, they still want a second opinion and the way to clarify the message. Second, to get media coverage of course. Third, to have process details shared with them at all times. It benefits internal relationship and smoothes operations. Fourth, to deal with crisis situations, which require apologies and cleaning the mess up. Fifth, to generate cash back as the bottom line. Followers, likes, re-tweets, shares at the end must equal cash!