I can see why some people call this defamation against public relations professionals. However, I think Scott Adams is, as usual, just making fun of upper management. The pointy haired boss goes out of his way to find one unethical PR firm: Dogberts!
I see your logic, but I think the strip has it best as it stands. Dogbert has no shame, remember, so wouldn't pause awkwardly before answering. The way it is drawn, when Dogbert tells them what the opposition is up to, Dilbert & PHB pause as the implications sink in. Then when the question is put to Dogbert (most likely by Dilbert) it is almost as a rhetorical question because they already suspect what the answer will be.