Two recent articles in major business publications have chronicled the rise of "virtual companies." The Amazing Rise of the Do-It-Yourself Economy from Fortune and The New Instant Companies from Business 2.0 both look at companies that outsource almost everything but the original idea (hat tip to PR Machine on the latter article).
Many of the companies mentioned in the articles benefited greatly from blogs and the exposure their products gained in the blogosphere. Business 2.0 called it "Leveraging the Hype Machine" and listed new companies who saw significant interest and sales following mentions on blogs Gizmodo, MoCo Loco, DailyCandy, Treehugger and Luxist.
The goal of public relations is get our clients in front of audiences who are interested in their products. If those audiences are moving online, then we must follow them and engage in the online conversation.