I spent a number of years in tech sales before getting into PR. In sales, you learn pretty quickly to aspire to be more than just an order taker. True salespeople know how to to get to "yes", whether that means overcoming objections, applying consultative techniques, etc.
Similarly, I like to point out that true masters of the PR craft are not just "order takers". Let me explain.
Many, especially those who are new to the field, tend to prefer the easier pitches – those about cool products or well known and respected brands, for example. And it's not hard to see why. After all, It does feel great to get a warm reception when you call the media, or sometimes even have them call you about a story. On the other hand, the campaigns that require more work generally result in more rejection and frustration.
But the best PR people know how to take a set of facts and a given client situation and turn this into a great story, even if the appeal is not obvious at first. They are not just order takers, but apply creativity and persistence to break through and earn coverage.
This also gets back to the role of marketing in helping companies and products to succeed. I remember, awhile back, a young account executive told me he believed that it is the best products that always win in the market; of course that is not true. Most markets have a range of competitors, each with products and services that have their pluses and minuses. Often, it is the company with better marketing that jumps to the head of the pack.
Please note, I am not claiming that PR alone can (or should even try to) turn lousy products into successes. Nor that you should emphasize charm and slick selling skills over substance. I am saying that, all things being equal, PR can be the force multiplier that can help you succeed – and it is not just the order takers who will get you there.