Public Relations Research Resources: Find Background Information

(Note: Titles listed in italicized print are available in hardcopy in the Oviatt Library.)

PR Firms and Media Directories

PR and Media Encyclopedias

Biographical Research

  • For books by or about specific people, search the Library Catalog by the name of the person as an author or subject (last name, first name). To search for collections of biographies by type of person or profession, search the Library Catalog using the keyword search, for example: journalists and biography.
  • The LexisNexis Academic Biographical Information Search is useful to locate information about people in business, industry, politics, etc. This People Search tutorial demonstrates how to do this.
  • The Biography Index Past and Present (Wilson) covers biographical information from more than 2,700 English-language periodicals; as well as books, autobiographies, bibliographies, biographies, critical studies, fiction, drama, pictorial works, poetry, juvenile literature, obituaries, journals, collections of letters, book reviews, and interviews.

Facts and Statistics

The following are from government and private sources of facts and statistics beyond journals and books, for finding information to support research papers and presentations.

Factual Information: Selected Sources

Statistical Data: Selected Sources

Business, Industry, and Organization Sources

The following selective list of online databases and web sites will lead you to sources of information about companies, organizations, industries, and the people who work in them.

  • ABI/Inform Compete (ProQuest)
    Full‐text journals, business magazines, and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, as well as key trade publications, dissertations, conference proceedings, and data and reports.
  • Business Source Premier (EBSCOhost)
    Business research database, providing full text for more than 2,300 journals, including full text for more than 1,100 peer-reviewed titles. Provides full text back to 1886, and searchable cited references back to 1998. Coverage in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. Can be seached simultaneously with Communication and Mass Media Complete, Academic Search Premier, and other EBSCOhost databases by selecting them from the Choose Databases menu.
  • Foundation Center
    Comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants.
  • GuideStar
    Nonprofits reports and IRS Form 990s.
  • Gale Directory Library
    Online access to several directories: Brands and their Companies; Business Rankings Annual; Consultants and Consulting Organizations Directory; Encyclopedia of Associations: National Organizations of the U.S.; Market Share Reporter; and Scholarships, Fellowships & Loans
  • LexisNexis Academic: Company Dossier
    Find headquarters locations, SEC filings, and executive hierarchies. Includes profiles of over 43 million companies worldwide and information on 1,000 industries.
  • Mergent Online
    U.S. and international company data and annual reports.
  • Nielson - What People Watch
    Get the Top 10 TV, movies, videogames, websites, etc. watched during a recent week. Free reports and press releases on their research. Detailed data only available to paying clients. Search also library databases for articles about Nielsen rating, such as Communication & Mass Media Complete, Business Source Premier, and ABI/Inform Complete. In addition, Variety reports Nielsen ratings. Search Variety directly through the OmniFile Full Text Mega database and enter "variety and nielsen and ratings" to locate summaries in Variety.
  • Regional Business News
    Coverage of more than 80 regional business publications covering all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States.
  • Who Owns the News Media (Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism)
  • Who Owns What: Columbia Journalism Review ("guide to what the major media companies own")
  • Business Resources
    Oviatt Library Subject Guide to business and economics research resources.