In public relations theory, publics form around issues and public relations is needed when the attitudes or actions of an organisation or the public have consequences for the other. In other words – no problem, no public relations.
So it's really no surprise that conflict creates public relations problems and a demand for PR advice. Yet cashing in on conflict will always be presented as something sinister, as in this newspaper report. Critics of the PR business (Stauber and Rampton; Miller and Dinan) will see this an an evil example of capitalism ('cash for conflicts') and as more evidence of PR-as-propaganda.
PR academics (who aren't always apologists for PR) are exploring different concepts: PR as public diplomacy, and the role of PR in conflict resolution. That's consistent with the academic theory proposing 'win-win' outcomes based on the 'two-way symmetrical' approach.