STCM 23200: Public Relations

About this Guide

Supports the class in Public Relations by providing resources that examine trends, case studies, and data and statistics.

Trade Publications and Blogs (PR Trends)

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. Associations: 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.
  • Edelman Blog (6 A.M. Post)  Trends in communications by Richard Edelman, Pres. &CEO/Edelman
  • Holmes Report
    Provides information to Public Relations professionals including case histories.
  • The Flack  Public relations in politics, pop culture, journalism, business, entertainment, tech, social media, consumer marketing & sports by Peter Himler.
  • 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.

Case Studies

Encyclopedia of Public Relations, Vol. 1, p. 117 definition of "Case Study"  (Reference HD59 .E48 2005)

PR News contains 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).
Sample Search: Articles: Business
  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.
  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)   National and international news, newswires, news transcripts.  Also includes legal and company/industry information.
  2. US Newsstream   National and international news, newswires, news transcripts.  Also includes Gannett newspapers such as the Ithaca Journal.
  3. Ithaca Times
    The online edition of Ithaca's weekly paper. Current issue only.

Benchmarking: Finding similar organizations

Benchmarking:  National or International
Business Insights: Essentials

Advanced Search screen: sample searches:
Search:  Description from the drop-down and type parking in the first box
Search:  Description from the drop-down and type craft beer in the first box > Brewers Association
Consider  searching Country or State from the drop-down, ex. "United States"

Finding Associations for Benchmarking:  locally
Go to the Advanced Search.  Keywords: "craft beer" or parking  Limit to New York in the left menu.

Charity Navigator
The Advanced Search did not work well for me.  Just search "craft beer" or parking and use the left menu to focus

Search:  "parking garage" or "parking lot"  or  Search: "craft beer"

Research Method

  1. Search your client's websiteex.  Freedom to Read
  2. Find the industry code:  NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System)
    Uses a 6 digit numbering system to classify industries that either make a product or offer a service (such as banks) in North America. You can search the database by code or by text describing the industry. These codes can be used to generate a list of companies in an industry and to compare them using other directories found both print or online. You may find the codes and an explanation of them here:  How to find a NAICS code (video updated Aug. 2016 by Jim Bondra, Business Librarian).  There is a broad industry code for Civic and Social Organizations is 813410  
  3. Charity Navigator:  Search your Charity:  Freedom to Read, Inc. Look at the NTE Code: B70   NTEE (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities)  B70 is Libraries and Library Science
  4. Company Profile and History. Search Business Insights: Essentials and  Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis) (Content type > Companies > Dossier) for company profiles.  Is there a parent company (look at the hierarchy)?  Is there a company history? After finding the company profile in LexisNexis, do a second search in the News files (Content type > All News > Advanced Options)
  5. Coverage in magazines, newspapers, business wires, and reports.
    a)  Search your company or organization's name  AND/OR  your product (ex. "Freedom to Read" ) in
     local presses:  and Ithaca Times
    b)  by the NAICS industry code AND your product in business databases ABI/INFORM CollectionBusiness Source Premier (Original Interface)
  6. Coverage in the S&P Industry survey (print resource, library Reference)
    Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys REF HC106.6 S74  
  7. Information from supporting trade associations.
    Print Reference: Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
    REF DESK HF5353 .E52  Use it to identify directories, yearbooks, periodicals and newsletters, and trade associations for your industry.  
    Industry organizations are a good additional source of information.  Some information may be available for members only. 
  8. Look for additional reports in Statista , a database that aggregates statistical information from market research, government data, etc.
  9. Use Simmons OneView to find more demographic information of those you plan to target (find information, for example, preferences of female health food eaters in a particular age range).  You can also find which media that demographic is most likely to use. 
  10. Use SRDS Media Solutions  for ad placement by DMA, media contact information, and some pricing. 

LexisNexis to Google Mapping

Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis)

1.  Choose Search by Content Type

2.  Choose the Company Dossier:

3. Find a Company.  Search:  Brooktons Market to find the entry.  Write down the NAICS code (Industry Classification) with the company: 445110
4.  Under the Company tab (upper left tab) > Create a Company List

5. Fill out the form with the NAICS code:  445110 & Geographic Information (United States, New York).  
Suggested:  County: Tompkins.  You could do 2 counties as Brooktondale is near Tioga county. You'd separate the counties with a comma:  County: Tompkins, Tioga.  Note: the larger the area, the more businesses you'll retrieve and the more data you'll need to clean up.  
Click: Create 
Click "Next: Customize List" to customize your results
  • Change default from alphabetical to "Sort by Sales"
  • Play around with the options in the Contact Information (ex. add in secondary SIC codes)
  • FOR MAPPING: Include only important Contact Information
6. Update and Download Company List
  • Download Selected Items: CSV Formatted File 
  • You can download a .csv file from LexisNexis that includes only address specific information.  You need to delete or update any P.O. box numbers.
  • Then you can drag-and-drop the .csv file into Google Maps.
7.  You should be logged into Google.  Go to Google My Maps and "Make a map" (My maps help screen)
8.  Upload a .csv file

9.  Choose columns to position your placemarks: Company Name, Street Address > Continue
10. Choose Column to title your makers:  Company Name  > Finish

(sample)  Map of Tompkins County Supermarkets

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.

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"

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.
  • Simmons OneView
    Simmons OneView(formerly Simmons Choices3) provides access to U.S. adult (18+) consumer data on product and brand usage, spending behavior, media usage/habits, and more. It can be used to create custom reports which analyze demographic and/or psychographic characteristics of product users and their media behavior.  It allows cross tabulation of hundreds of consumer product categories and usage data for over 8,000 brands, inclusive consumer media habits, diverse demographic categories and psychographic (attitudinal and lifestyle) profiles.  It consists of three parts: National Consumer Study (NCS), National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS) and New Media. Most recent data available is at least two years old. Our license allows for five simultaneous users.
  • Statista
    A statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources.  The content is purely aggregated statistics, geared towards business and marketing statistical needs, with a focus on current awareness.  Easy-to-use infographics and tables are available for download as images to insert into presentations.
  • 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.

Contact Us

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

Search Argos

Spring 2017 Clients

  • New York State Parking Association (NYSPA) Project: NYSPA will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017 and would like to develop marking materials to celebrate the anniversary and to grow our membership. We are particularly interested in creating a video that would talk about the history of our organization and help recruit new members.
  • Wellsboro House: Retaurant and Brewery  Project: Raise awareness of the brewery component of the business. 

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.

Ithaca Organizations & Events

Tompkins Festivals: A Resource for Tompkins County Event Planners:  Event Manual

Websites (many offer RSS,  Twitter feeds, and Event Calendars):

Print Directory:  ask for it at the Reference Desk

Related Guides

​Also use this guide for your secondary data / background research report: ​Additional guides include:


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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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