I'd say that yes, it's PC to poo poo "personal branding" because it feels icky...but the truth is, the best networkers in the world are all actively managing what you think of them. That's personal branding.
To think that if you just work hard and do a great job folks will notice is naive in my opinion. If it feels immodest to use the words personal brand, then don't but to think that you shouldn't actively manage your image, well that just seems short sighted.
Thanks for commenting.