@Krista: I agree regarding mixed feelings about "outing." Perhaps if it's egregious, or intentionally malicious it would be fitting. However, punishing someone for being passionate about their pitch -- especially one that is relevant to their coverage seems wrong. I also believe it reflects poorly on all involved. People notice and the PR community is fairly small and tight nit. @Farida: Perhaps. But I also think the lesson I learned is that it's okay to take "no" for an answer. It's not synonymous with giving up, but rather a chance to try again in the future with new data, or a some other point that makes the news more compelling. Thank you both for posting comments!
From your post, it doesn't seem that you were being aggressive in your pitch, merely sincere and diligent. As a journalist turned PR pro, I've experienced both sides. In India, I had several friends in PR who told me how badly they were treated by other journalists - one of them even moved out of PR because of it. As a journalist back then, I thought it was terrible that people in my profession should abuse their position of power. Being under pressure and under-paid is no excuse for treating others badly. We all learn along the way and everyone makes mistakes (I misreported something once) whether you are a journalist or a PR person, as Krista rightly said above, and it can't hurt to show a little bit of humanity and cut others some slack. Good luck with whatever you're moving on to for the next one year!
You are very brave for confessing your tale, Frank--I think every PR pro out there has a similar experience they'd rather forget, but are secretly glad they learned from. I also have mixed feelings about the practice of outing the PR people behind bad media relations. It doesn't do much to help the relationship between reporters and PR folks, and each side makes mistakes every now and then. But you make a good point that it's often difficult to know what will and won't stick. It takes patience and humility often when working in media relations.