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MCOM 3314: Public Relations and Advertising Research

Best Databases: Large Companies and Industries

What is a NAICS Code?

The U.S. Census explains that the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the "standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy."

The information could be used for research purposes in an advertising campaign to find out more about certain industries, such as 311410 Frozen food manufacturing.  (The number 311410 is the 6-digit NAICS code for "Frozen food manufacturing.")

The Library of Congress includes helpful background information about the NAICS in its research guide to Doing Industry Research.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has a free Industry Finder Search, if you need a quick access point.

Strategies for Small Companies

What strategies can you use for a company that is too small to be listed in databases with information on specific companies?

  • Try to determine the general industry to which it belongs.  Also research NAICS codes/official Industry Names.
  • A frozen food company such as Tai-Pei Frozen Asian Cuisine would have an NAICS code.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration gives general advice on how to  Determine Your NAICS Code:
    • The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy.
    • NAICS is production oriented (not product oriented).
  • The U.S. Census Bureau has a link to the most recent publication of the North American Industry Classification System


What strategies can you use to find background/historical information on a local company in a small town?

  • Local newspapers may have written stories on the company.  Is the newspaper digitized or indexed?
  • Is the company a member of a larger organization that may have produced a trade newspaper or magazine--and written feature stories on its members?
  • Are there local histories published about the town or the county in which it is located?  For example: The Randall County story, from 1541 to 1910 or Amarillo Through Our Eyes: Celebrating 100 Years.
  • Is there a local museum or historical society with a research center?  For example:  The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Research Center.
  • If the company is your client, do they have an in-house scrapbook with newspaper articles, etc. that they would let you read on-site?


Search by keyword, company, or NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code.

For example: frozen food

Can click on Industry Report for Frozen Food Production in the US

Business Source Ultimate


If there are no articles about a particular company, you may find articles about a similar company.

Search example:

"amy's kitchen" AND frozen

Filter by Date

Articles may be filtered by a date range, such as 2006 to 2016

New Search Using Subject Terms

You may click on any links in an article for a new search.

The subject term Frozen foods could be useful.

Use Provided NAICS Codes

The NAICS Code 311410 Frozen food manufacturing is certainly related.

Browse Specific Publications

Consider browsing more articles from the periodical that published the good article, such as the trade magazine Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Retailer.