Public Relations


This is a broad based guide that covers a variety of sources relevant to the field of Public Relations.

Best Bets: Databases

Note:  The Dashboard (see right column) searches across all databases. I recommend it as a starting place.  For more search control using field codes and databases thesaurus, search the databases one at a time.

Public Relations News:
  1. PR Newswire Unrestricted Resource
  2. PR News
  3. PR Week (U.S. ed.)
  1. Business Source Premier (Original Interface) Restricted Resource openURL Some full text available
  2. ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry Restricted Resource openURL Some full text available
  3. Business Insights: Essentials Restricted Resource Some full text available
  4. Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis)
  5. Business Source Premier (Original Interface)  (BSP) Top index to business information. Trade and scholary.  EBSCO interface.
  6. ABI/INFORM Collection   Also a good index to business information.  ProQuest interface.
  7. ScienceDirect   Mainly science information but contains some strong public relations titles.
  8. Business Insights: Essentials   Good for searching company and industry information.  Compares to the Company Dossier in LexisNexis.
  9. Prendismo Video Clip Collection
    16,000 video clips from 750 experts. These 2-minute video clips cover 200 business topics, such as ethics, finance, innovation, sales, strategy, women, and leadership. Provided by the Ithaca College School of Business. No off-campus access. There is a fee to download a clip.
  1. Communication Source   Top index to the field of communications. Trade and scholarly.  EBSCO interface.
  2. Communication Studies: a SAGE Full-Text Collection  Twelve fulltext journals in the field of communications by the publisher SAGE
Any of the databases below are good to search on any topic.
  1. Academic Search Premier   Multidisciplinary database on an EBSCO interface.
  2. ProQuest Research Library  Multidisciplinary database on a ProQuest interface.
  3. Academic OneFile  Multidisciplinary database on a GALE interface.
  4. Ebook Central (formerly ebrary)   Multidisciplinary database of full-text ebooks.
  5. Google Scholar
  1. Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis)    Top database for current news.
  2. US Newsstream
    U.S. Newsstream enables users to search current U.S. news content, as well as archives that stretch back into the 1980s. It features top newspapers, wires, broadcast transcripts, blogs, and news sites in full-text format. U.S. Newsstream provides key national and regional news sources from the U.S. and includes exclusive and preferred access to top titles, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Newsday, and Chicago Tribune. All titles are cross searchable on the ProQuest platform.

Public Relations, General topics

Encyclopedias and Handbooks: Directories:
  • O'Dwyer's directory of public relations firms
    REF HM263 .O37
    Directory of public relations firms and their clients. One can also determine the public relations firm(s) for various companies.
  • SRDS Media Solutions
Books: Articles: Journals: Websites:
  • American Rhetoric
    A database of over 5000 full text, audio, and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates and interviews.
  • Institute for Public Relations (IPR)
    Non-for-profit organization founded in 1956 that provides educational resources and research to educators, practitioners, and the public.
  • Museum of Public Relations
    Online exhibit that explores the careers of pioneers in the field of public relations such as: Edward Bernays, Moss Kendrix, Carl Byoir, Arthur Page, and Chet Burger.
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
    Membership organization devoted to advancing the field of public relations. Related to PRSSA the national student chapter.

Case Studies

  • PR News
    Popular trade publication in the field of public relations.  Search "case study"  to find case studies on particular scenarios.
  • PR news : top 100 case studies in PR
    REF HM1221 .P7 2007
    Gives a wide variety of examples about how a company, organization or individual handled a public relations event or program.  See also: PR News Casebook (REF HM263 .P657 1993).

Corporate Image & Crisis Com

Handbooks and Reference: Books: Articles: Websites:
  • Bloomberg Businessweek Videos
    Interviews with business leaders about technology, investment, management, etc.  Users can create a playlist.  Videos can be browsed or searched.
    The leading source of corporate responsibility and sustainability, press releases, reports and news.
    Streaming video of lectures in politics, business, technology, the world, and culture, from academics, think tanks, authors, politicians, etc.  Some videos are free and some are pay-per-view.
  • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
    Founded in 1970, this organization serves business communicators who work in PR, Corporate communications, Public Affairs, Investor relations, Government Relations, etc.
  • Trademarkia
    Non-governmental free search engine for finding United States federally registered trademarks. 
  • Violation Tracker
    Violation Tracker is the first national search engine on corporate misconduct. Version 2.0 covers banking, consumer protection, environmental, health, safety, price-fixing and bribery cases initiated by 27 federal regulatory agencies and the Justice Department since 2010; in all, 110,000 cases with total penalties of $270 billion. Other types of violations, especially wage & hour and employment discrimination cases, will be added later. Violation Tracker is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. (from the website).
Related Guide:

Political Consultants

Reference: Books: Articles: Websites:

Trade Publications and Blogs

Trade Publications:
Access via the library will typically provide a larger scope than going direct to the website.  The website is good for current news and signing up for feeds, Twitter, email, etc. Blogs:
  • Alltop - Top PR News
    Alltop aggregates posts from all the top PR blogs. 
  • Brian Solis
    Blog analyzing the effects of social media and technology on marketing, entertainment and culture.  
  • Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog
    PR views, news and tools by Infocom Group. Includes a free white paper library.
  • Clip Report  by Steve Rubel, EVP/Edelman
  • Edelman Blog (6 A.M. Post)  Trends in communications by Richard Edelman, Pres. &CEO/Edelman
  • FIR: The Hobson & Holtz Report
    Twice weekly commentary on public relations and technology by Shel Holtz & Neville Hobson.
  • The Flack  Public relations in politics, pop culture, journalism, business, entertainment, tech, social media, consumer marketing & sports by Peter Himler.
  • Holmes Report
    Provides information to Public Relations professionals including case histories.
  • Ragan's PR Daily
     Public Relations tips and news from Ragan.
  • Strategic Public Relations  Opinion on marketing strategy & more by Kevin Dugan. Includes a tab to the Bad Pitch Blog.

Media Literacy

  • Adbusters
    From the Adbusters Media Foundation, this is the online companion to the activist magazine that mocks commercial advertising and offers media criticism through edgy articles and images.
  • Creativity: Adcritic
    Online site for Creativity magazine contains Adcritic picks for TV, print & interactive advertising.
  • AdSlogans, a UK company, posted materials for students and educators such as SloganMaker, Sloganalysis, Brand Categories, & the Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame (the best ads of the past 100 years). TV ads can be viewed in full. Note: this page is no longer updated as of 2006 but is still useful
  • Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC)
    A coalition of health care professionals, educators and parents who advocate against children's' exposure to commercialism through marketing. There are almost 30 member organizations.
  • Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY)
    Part of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, CAMY. "monitors the marketing practices of the alcohol industry to focus attention and action on industry practices that jeopardize the health and safety of America's youth."
  • Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
    A unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. that offers guidelines for advertising messages to young children.
  • CRETV, Center for Research on the Effects of Television
  • Fast Food FACTS
    Yale University health researchers (Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity)  developed this site of facts on advertising food to youth for consumers and researchers.
  • Marin Institute
    Organization that monitors the alcohol industry. Includes free reports under the Resources tab.
  • Media Education Foundation
    Organization that produces educational documentaries that examines American mass media's impact on society.
  • Project Look Sharp
    Project Look Sharp provides materials, training and support to help teachers prepare students for life in today's media saturated world. Project Look Sharp promotes the effective integration of media literacy and critical thinking into classroom curricula at all educational levels and instructional areas. Project Look Sharp also evaluates the effectiveness of school-based media literacy education.

Writing & Presentation Resources

​Reference: Books: ​Articles: Bibliographic Management: try Zotero
  • Zotero is software that allows you to easily collect, manage, and save bibliographic information about the items you find on the Web. It also works with word processing programs to help you easily cite your sources as you write.  Ron Gilmour, our Science Librarian, created, "A Brief Guide to Using Zotero"

Tools and Services

  • O'Dwyer's had a good website but our print guide (IC Reference section, floor 2) has more complete information, use:
  • O'Dwyer's directory of public relations firms
    REF HM263 .O37
    Directory of public relations firms and their clients. One can also determine the public relations firm(s) for various companies.
  • EDGAR Database (Securities and Exchange Commission)
    Official SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) documents such as Form 10-K, 10-Q, Proxy statements, registration statements, and merger and acquisition documents. *Be sure to look at the DEF14A (Proxy) statements and the Management Discussion and Analysis sections of Form 10-k, Form 10-Q for insights into management.
  • SEC Info
    Securities Information from the SEC EDGAR database. Search by Name, Industry, Business, SIC Code, Area Code,Topic, CIK, Accession Number, File Number, Date, ZIP. You may have to join but membership is free.
  • Brand Keys
    Company that focuses on "customer loyalty and engagement metrics" in branding.  They publish the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.
  • BurrellesLuce
    Public relations company that provides the following services: media outreach, media monitoring, and media reporting.  They have a nice Resources tab for PR practitioners including: White Papers (there is one on Copyright Compliance), Tip Sheets, Newsletters, and Webinars.
  • Constant Contact
    Company that facilitates online marketing.
  • General Sentiment
    Analyzes consumer sentiment on the internet and though social media outlets.  Products and services include: Media Measurement Dashboard, Custom Reporting, Syndicated Reporting, and API.
  • NextMark
    Buy, sell, and learn about mailing lists. Includes a Directory of Providers.
  • VMS
    Integrated Media Intelligence company that monitors media for public relations, marketing, and advertising.
  • Charity Navigator
    An independent charity evaluator. Provides evaluative information about the financial health of over 5,300 of America's largest charities.
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
    A United States agency, "charged with the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction."  Their site allows consumers to report risks of harm and search on products they own or may purchase.
    Searchable database of the programs and finances of more than 1.7 million IRS-recognized nonprofits and over 3.3 million people who work in the nonprofit sector.  Source for 990 forms; nonprofits are required to file a 990 revenue statement with the IRS.  Use GuideStar to screen for nonprofits.
  • Social Media Marketing Examples
    This wiki includes: company name, SMM Example, Type of Social Media, Industry, Country, & contributor.

Data & Statistics

  • American FactFinder
    Current population, housing, economic, and geographic data from the US Census Bureau.  Includes the Annual Survey of Manufactures, Economic Census, Current Population Estimates, Business Patterns, and American Community Surveys.  The Guided Search walks you through each step in picking the data and/or geographies you want to download.
  • compete
    Compete (Kantar Media) "helps the worlds top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers." Demographic data from this service is also included in SRDS Consumer Media.
    The purpose of is "to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government."  The site includes searchable data catalogs providing access to data in three ways: through the "raw" data catalog, the tool catalog, and the geodata catalog.
  • Doubleclick ad planner
    A Google ad planning feature that assists market researchers define audience and build media plans.  Demographic data are also included in SRDS Consumer Media.
  • Klout Score
    The Klout Score measures influence on topics across the social web.
  • Nielsen
    Measures audiences for television and other media markets. Claritas SiteReports provides U.S. demographic data.
  • Q Scores
    This company measures the consumer appeal of personalities, products, characters, licensed properties, programs and brands.   The Q Score is a "measure of likeability" that predicts consumer involvement. Data is sold to advertisement and PR firms amongst others.
  • Television & cable factbook
    Lists cable and television stations by geographic area. Shows coverage area maps, DMA information including # of households with cable and television. Programming offered by cable companies, etc. 4 volumes. Library retains current edition only.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Social, demographic and economic information. Includes the American FactFinder resource.
  • UNdata
    UNdata pools major UN databases and those of several international organizations - browse, search and download data from a large number of statistical databases. Data categories include: agriculture, education, employment, energy, environment, health, human development, industry, information and communication technology, national accounts, population, refugees, trade, and tourism.

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Contact Us

picture of Cathy Michael
Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293

Search Argos

Google News Alerts

Run a search in Google News.  Consider using Google Search Operators to refine your search.  After searching, scroll down. On the bottom right of the screen click on Create Alert.    Under "show options" you can set some limiters.


Interested in a career in public relations?  Consider joining IC's chapter of PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Related Library Guides

Subject Guides are complete source lists by resource type.  Class guides are used for in class presenations and may contain resources specific to class assignments.


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PR Newswire

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PR News Blog

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PR Week

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Ragan PR

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