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Exploring the World of Media Monitoring Companies

We recently conducted a review of PR media monitoring platforms for a client, including demos with Meltwater, Muck Rack, and Agility. We also asked around about Cision and Critical Mention. We were assessing the accuracy

in monitoring and the media database. Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each:


Cision is often considered the best monitoring tool (hence the cost) which includes additional bells and whistles including Trendkite monitoring, PRNewswire for press releases, and includes more in-depth reports including share of voice and impact score.

Pros: There isn't much it can't do.

Cons: The cost. It also requires more of a time investment to fully understand the system and set it up to be the most effective. Some feel like the media database isn't as up-to-date as it should be.

Muck Rack

Muck Rack is a media search database search that lets you discover and pitch relevant journalists in a much more targeted way than legacy media databases. Building and sharing media lists has never been easier, and since they're automatically kept up-to-date, you can finally stop spending time maintaining old media contact lists. (We moved from Cision to Muck Rack for their search database about a year ago to save money and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We use it for media searching versus monitoring.)

Pros: It's super easy to find most journalists as well as to see their beats, pitching preferences, social media handles as well as recent coverage. Muck Rack also makes it easy to search for client coverage using the articles search.

Cons: It's not as easy as Cision for finding broadcast targets (must go through TVEyes). It's also hard to share one account since it frequently requests a passcode. (You can pay more for more accounts.) In terms of its monitoring program, some feel like it's not as comprehensive as other platforms and still may require other searches.


Offers media monitoring and an easy way to add an online boost to your distribution which saves money if you don’t want to spend for a full press release distribution. It has a visual dashboard that captures hits, impressions, sentiment, and more.

Pros: Partners with BusinessWire for press release coverage.

Cons: Can’t export the reports easily and missing some stories and editors in the database. Is more cumbersome to navigate than the others.


Meltwater offers comprehensive media monitoring and analysis across online news, social media, print, broadcast, and podcasts. The company says it captures more content and conversations than anyone else in the industry. It offers a custom interactive dashboard that captures hits, impressions, message penetration, social shares, website click-throughs, sentiment and more.

Pros: Meltwater partners with TVEyes and NewsEdge for broadcast and print coverage. Meltwater reps say that clients find that they get more pick up, especially since TVEyes has better access to local stations.

Cons: Can sometimes be tricky to navigate the dashboard.

Critical Mention

Critical Mention is the lighter version of Cision's Trendkite, but still a great tool. The service includes broadcast monitoring, online news, print (including items behind paywalls), unlimited report creation/clip archiving, and an amazing customer service team.

Pros: Very intuitive, great customer service. Provides most of what you need. A+ for broadcast monitoring

Cons: Some feel like it doesn't catch everything and the media search database isn't as strong.

So which did we end up recommending to our client? Muck Rack. If you’re interested in a demo click here: Muck Rack Demo

If you are interested in Verbeck Consulting helping you find the right media monitoring partner, reach out, and let's chat!

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