As I read through your wish list of resolutions you would like public relations professionals to commit to — while I completely agree with and understand your frustration — I am hopeful you have ever encountered a successful relationship with a public relations practitioner. I agree with every one of your resolutions, especially those regarding knowing who you are talking to and what beat the journalist covers before you pick up the phone. On the public relations side of things, nothing would be more embarrassing than a journalist explaining to me I am not contacting the correct beat reporter.
However, due to your spamming (if you will) issues of unwanted pitches, I don’t think journalists should categorize all public relations professionals in the same boat. There are firms that pride themselves on practicing public relations the correct way by pursuing a relationship first, then business, and that all starts by doing exactly what you say in your article, DO YOUR HOMEWORK first!
A colleague of mine here at Arment Dietrich Inc. received kudos recently from a journalist who works for Newsday, explaining how much she appreciates being approached the correct way by building a relationship first and developing that relationship into a productive pitch for a publication and client win-win situation. There are good public relations professionals out there; we need to praise them too!