It's not even so much as Abrams making Star Trek
relevant to the audience or fans. It was that he made it relevant to the moguls who don't know or care anything about Star Trek
other than whether its something that seems likely to make them boatloads of money.
If all Abrams accomplished was a PR campaign for the franchise, that's nothing to scoff at. He did accomplish more, and that's gravy. If he had done that PR campaign at the expense of creating a good story, that wouldn't have done too much harm, since someone else can pick up the reins and do something completely different anyway.
So even those who think he failed to create a good story should recognize that he still helped the franchise a lot more than he harmed it.