No doubt, Public Relations (PR) is not a direct selling or marketing. But when it comes to media relations, PR is a very low-cost and effective tool. Most of the media personnel are connected through social media. They prefer visiting Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, rather then opening hundreds of their emails.
PR may trigger a campaign/service or keep it alive in public and media even after a marketing campaign/budget is over.
Marketing is not just selling. A negative news in media could spoil everything. I remember Lays chips had to run a huge campaign to counteract a news published in some low circulated newspapers in Pakistan that it was using a haram (not eatable as per the Islamic law) ingredient.
Let me share with you, nowadays, some media personnel even don’t like an association with a direct selling/marketing person.
Leaders of a company have every right to make a policy as per their professional judgment, but I would humbly advise them to spend some time reading about Marketing and PR to understand the new trends.