What does PR do exactly, and is it essential?

Singaporean newspaper The Strait Times recently completed a survey on people’s perception of essential jobs. The result shows that public relations (PR) was ranked third in the top 5 of non-essential jobs, only after artist and telemarketer. Social media manager, a branch within the PR profession, wasn’t viewed any more favorably as the job also showed up in the list of ‘Jobs I don’t want to do.’