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CMJ 367: Public Relations: Industry Research

Welcome to the CMJ 367 Research Guide! This web page includes resources to assist with your industry research. Not seeing what you need, or have questions? Contact your CMJ librarian, Jen Bonnet, at!

Finding Company History

Below are a couple of resources that can help you explore companies within an industry of interest to you for your Career Discovery assignment. Looking at company histories can give you a sense of an industry's priorities, which can help you determine what their PR needs may be.

Finding Demographic & Psychographic Information

Demographics and psychographics provide insights into why consumers spend their money, and on what types of purchases. More specifically, demographics refer to who your consumers are, such as their age, race/ethnicity, gender, relationship status, occupation, or income. Psychographics refer to why your consumers consume, such as attitudes, preferences, opinions, or values.

Looking at  this type of information can help you determine the PR needs of your industry. For instance, does your industry need to focus on a particular demographic group? Is there room for growing their audience? Are they missing opportunities to reach people in certain parts of the country, or the world? Are there consumer opinions/perspectives/values that resonate with your industry and that your PR work can capitalize on?

Market Research Database


Trends in American Attitudes


Useful Online Resource


Useful Books

Finding Research on Public Relations and Industry

There is a lot of research on the relationship between public relations and company success. Some databases to consult for this type of information include:

You can limit your search to scholarly articles, and will find things like: the effects of social media use across Fortune 500 companies; examples of public relations campaigns in various sectors; the relationship of evaluation and transparency to PR success; and windows into the history of the PR industry itself. These can provide insights into the role(s) and function(s) of a PR professional.

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