Why I choose Muck Rack over Cision and Meltwater (TL;DR)

This is the short version of my most thorough treatment of the subject.

My goal is that when you finish reading this post, you’ll know whether you should include a demo of Muck Rack as part of your research into which PR platform to use.

I became so impressed with the Muck Rack tool, I reached out to the corporate team to inquire about becoming a brand ambassador for them.

Here are the reasons I choose Muck Rack:

1. Both anecdotally and statistically, my followers and mentoring clients strongly prefer Muck Rack.

I have 10,000 subscribers to my weekly PR newsletter and hundreds of members in the paid mentoring group that I run. Collectively, they praise Muck Rack and mostly complain about its competitors. I did a formal survey of my members and asked them, “If you have ever subscribed to [PR software vendor], how likely are you to recommend it to your colleagues?”

The following were the percentages who rated each vendor a seven or higher on a 10-point scale:
Muck Rack – 78%
Cision – 51%
Meltwater – 26%

2. The product is built from the ground up with a journalist-friendly philosophy.

Muck Rack is the exception to other pitching platforms that enable generic blast pitches. The workflow gently guides you to sending carefully targeted, customized pitches, which is going to be way more effective for you.

3. The database is hands-down, consistently the most accurate out there.

Journalists love Muck Rack – in fact, groups like the Society of Professional Journalists even partner with the brand. Why? The founding team designed Muck Rack to be the easiest way for journalists to manage their online portfolios. Journalists know that their peers (and potential future employers) see their work via their Muck Rack profile, so the journalists themselves often update it with their latest work, employment and contact info. Muck Rack also uses advanced technology to surface new contacts and potential changes, and employs experienced editorial staff to vet and manage the database. The result? The media database is more accurate than anything I’ve ever seen before, even in this day of intense journalism turnover.

4. Muck Rack is one piece of software built from the ground up, not multiple solutions mashed together after mergers and acquisitions.

When you use Muck Rack for any length of time, you notice how everything works smoothly together. You see this when you’re moving from the database to the dashboard and monitoring and reporting tools, which my followers also praise. Everything fits naturally together. This contrasts with their competitors, which are made up of different pieces of software stitched together after acquisitions.

5. Muck Rack’s  corporate vision is laser-focused on PR pros’ needs, and therefore they deliver on those needs faster than competitors.

In contrast with its competitors, Muck Rack remains focused solely on serving media relations professionals, as opposed to trying to serve several other functions within marketing.

Muck Rack was the first tool to include podcasts and newsletters in its database. When one provider is consistently first with features that you want, that’s a good indicator that they are focused on you, and they will continue to be first with innovations that you and I don’t even know will matter someday.

6. Muck Rack is competitive on price and delivers a better sales and contracting experience.

Muck Rack’s rate is going to be competitive with the players that offer similar features. And the sales rep who walks you through it is going to be knowledgeable, not aggressive, and will make renewing or canceling a smooth experience. What follows is purely subjective, but I’ve heard dozens of bad experiences about the sales and contracting experience with PR software vendors – to date, not one of those has been about Muck Rack.

Next steps

So that’s why I choose Muck Rack. Here’s how I recommend you proceed with your search to finalize what’s the best fit for you:

  1. Set up demos with your final candidates as close together as possible.
  2. During each demo, you drive the conversation, not the rep.
  3. Ask them to pull a media list for a specific topic that you already know. Compare the results to reality. Then compare the results to the lists pulled during your other demos.
  4. Ask them to put together a coverage report for a campaign that you already have really accurate results for (maybe you double-checked it manually). Watch how many mouse clicks and form fills it requires to pull that report. Compare that workflow and the resulting report to those pulled in other demos.
  5. Ask them to show you how to do specific tasks/functions that you know you’ll do frequently. Pay attention to how many clicks it takes and how intuitive the workflow is.
  6. Consider both the product as it is now, and where you think it will be in two years based on what you know about the company behind the product.
  7. Make your decision :).

Here’s how to get started if you’d like to demo Muck Rack.

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best in your search.

This article was originally published on August 15, 2023

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