Top 7 Cision competitors & alternatives (2024)

A no-nonsense guide to help you shop around for the best deal on your PR software.

Browsing PR tools and looking for Cision competitors

You’re in luck – there are plenty of useful alternatives out there to consider.

This list has our top 7 to be aware of. By the end of this guide, we’ll ideally have helped you find the right one. That means a tool that’s: modern, effective, easy to use, and (most importantly) cheaper. 

Table of contents

Summary: Our top 7 Cision competitors and alternatives

  1. Prezly: A dedicated PR outreach CRM that comes at a fraction of the price, with a better user experience, and nearly all the same features (plus extra ones designed to improve your journalist relationships).
  2. Meltwater: A PR suite that is slightly less expensive than Cision (though still far more expensive than Prezly). It has less features than Cision, but a far more robust set of media monitoring tools.
  3. Muck Rack: A PR software suite that has similar pricing to Cision and Meltwater, but with a better interface and customer support.
  4. MyNewsDesk: A low cost alternative to Cision and Meltwater. Good if you’re on a low budget and need access to a media database and wire services, but if you’re following a more long-term approach to PR (which means avoiding media databases and wire services), we’d suggest trying out Prezly instead.
  5. Onclusive: Primarily a media monitoring platform that comes with other PR tools. Best if you’re a PR pro at a large organization with an overwhelming amount of data.
  6. Business Wire: A wire service that’s great if you need to mass distribute targeted releases. Though we always recommend using a CRM like Prezly to earn coverage instead. 
  7. Talkwalker: A more user-friendly and budget-friendly wire service. But, again, we’d urge you to try earning media coverage by building relationships with journalists instead of using a wire service. 

Need more info? Keep reading below to learn more about each tool!

The best alternative to Cision

With its modern interface, low pricing, full feature set and 14-day free trial, Prezly is the best Cision alternative for PR teams looking to centralize their workflow and grow meaningful relationships with their contacts.

Top Cision alternative: Prezly

[browser]A view of Prezly's contact management area
A view of Prezly's contact management area

Prezly is a modern, relationship-driven, all-in-one PR software for comms teams and agencies. It’s known for offering lower pricing than Cision and a better user-experience (according to PR pros and journalists).

Prezly doesn’t sell media lists or offer any newswire services. Instead, the platform is fully focused on helping you build and nurture relationships with relevant journalists. Meaning, you can exclusively focus on earning high-quality, relevant, and effective media coverage. ​ 

Feature

Prezly

Cision

Pricing

Starts at $50/month

Starts at $7,200/yr

Free trial

Site & newsroom creator

Multimedia press release creator

Journalist outreach tools

Media database

✗ (here’s why)

CRM

Media monitoring

✓ (via integration)

G2 rating

4.3/5

4.0/5

Final verdict:

If you're looking for an affordable, yet powerful Cision alternative, you can't go wrong with Prezly. Try out the 14-day free trial to see for yourself.

Why consider Cision’s competitors?

While Cision is a widely used and respected tool in the PR software space, there are plenty of fair reasons to look at alternatives.

To understand these reasons better, we read the stories of previous Cision users who made the switch to another PR tool. 

Ultimately, most people jumped to a competitor for one of three reasons: Cision is too expensive, doesn’t match their specific use case properly, or doesn’t have the features they need. 

Before jumping into the list, let’s quickly explain each reason a bit deeper. 

It gets expensive

While Cision’s pricing isn’t public, our past research has found that it’s estimated to start at $7,200/yr. Meaning, for a basic Cision plan with one user, you could be looking at a $7,200/year bill. 

At such a high price, it’s easy to understand why finding a cheaper alternative to Cision would be appealing. Especially if there’s a less expensive tool that gets similar (or better) results. 

Solution: Switch to Prezly and pay as little as $50/month. There’s a 14-day free trial and no contracts, so you can cancel anytime.

It’s not made for earning media

Cision offers a wide suite of tools and services, but is best known for two things: their media database, and their wire service, PR Newswire.

If you’re following a more traditional approach with your PR strategy, having access to these tools could be immensely valuable. That said, to get real results (i.e. earn authentic press), we don’t suggest using media databases or wire services. 

In fact, we suggest avoiding them altogether. Here are three quick reasons to help you understand why:

  1. Media databases violate the GDPR
  2. Wire services will get you covered by syndicates (ineffective press), but typically never get picked up by real journalists who want to share your stories (effective press)
  3. Neither media databases nor wire services will help you build long-term relationships with journalists that have access to your target audience

Convinced to ditch media databases and wire services yet? If you need more convincing, we have two articles you can check out. One all about the cons of media databases, and another sharing the downsides of wire services.

Given this stance, other apps on this list are either all-in-one PR tools that are more well-rounded, or (if you absolutely need one) standalone newswire services that are more affordable.

Solution: If you want to start earning media instead of buying it, try Prezly. It’s a modern, all-in-one PR tool specially designed to help you build relationships with journalists and earn press.

Cision is clunky, and over-complicated

After decades in the industry (and plenty of acquisitions) Cision’s platform has become overloaded with dozens of features, all glued together on an outdated framework. 

Though more features can be nice, Cision has put little effort into seamlessly integrating them. Leading to a slow, clunky, and over-complicated platform that struggles to deliver on what it promises.

When using a PR platform, being able to quickly, smoothly, and effectively get your work done is essential. Sadly, Cision needlessly makes the process hard, even for the savviest of PR pros.

Solution: Prezly gives you everything you need for effective PR, without slowing you down. Publish, distribute, manage contacts, and get coverage all from one, easy-to-use place.

Prezly – software for modern PR teams

  • Write & publish brand stories in an online newsroom

  • Send email campaigns, pitches & newsletters

  • Manage all your contact lists in a single CRM, with easy import & export

  • Measure performance to see who's engaging with your stories

Other Cision competitors

Now, let's check out our top Cision alternatives.

Meltwater

  • Free trial: No
  • Price: Starts at $12,000/yr (estimated)
  • Tool type: All-in-one PR tool
  • G2 rating: 4.0/5
[browser]Source: SaaSworthy
Source: SaaSworthy

Often reviewed side-by-side with Cision, Meltwater is another well-known veteran in the PR software space. In case you haven’t already taken a look at Meltwater, they may be worth considering. (We have a more in-depth review of Meltwater right here!)

Meltwater started out as a media monitoring solution, but over the years, has become an all-in-one PR suite. Along with media monitoring tools, this suite comes with a media database, outreach tools, social media management, and much more. 

While Meltwater’s media monitoring tools are specifically hard to beat, we’d suggest looking elsewhere if media monitoring isn’t your top priority (i.e. come for the media monitoring, stay for the suite). 

Pros:

  • Powerful media monitoring across platforms
  • User-friendly (post-setup)
  • Real-time brand and market​​​​​​ updates

Cons:

  • Challenging setup
  • Non-customizable dashboards
  • Generally limited customization

Features:

  • Media Monitoring
  • Analytics Reporting
  • Influencer Search

Pricing:

Just like Cision, Meltwater keeps their pricing hidden. From our research, their pricing is estimated to start at $12,000/yr. From there it only increases, keeping you locked in on an annual contract.

You can read more about Meltwater’s pricing in our comparison of Cision, Meltwater, and Prezly, where we've detailed everything that makes each tool different.

Final verdict:

Compared to Cison, you'll get less features, but a much more user-friendly interface and robust set of media monitoring tools. However, Prezly offers an even more modern PR solution (with a 14-day free trial) starting at just $50/month.

See the top alternatives to Meltwater →

Muck Rack

  • Free trial: No
  • Price: Starts at $10,000/yr (estimated)
  • Tool type: All-in-one PR tool
  • G2 Rating: 4.6/5
[browser]Source: Businesswire
Source: Businesswire

If you’re looking for a more traditional PR tool (like Cision or Meltwater), and are willing to spend the high price to match, Muck Rack is generally your best choice. 

It has nearly all the same tools as Cision and Meltwater, but with a friendlier interface and customer support team. 

Pros:

  • Extensive journalist network
  • Intuitive user interface

Cons:

  • High, hidden pricing
  • Limited global reach
  • Smaller media database that Cision

Features:

  • Media database
  • Press release distribution
  • Real-time media monitoring

Pricing:

Currently, there is no public information Muck Rack shares on their pricing.

Meaning, it can be added to the wide list of PR platforms that (confusingly) keep their pricing hidden. After searching around, it looks like their pricing starts at $10,000/yr (though varies widely). 

Read all about Muck Rack in our article comparing them to Cision. There you’ll find more details about the platform and how each aspect (from pricing, to features, to user experience) works.

Final verdict:

Compared to Cision, you'll get a similar set of features wrapped in a cleaner interface, and for a (potentially) slightly lower price. 

MyNewsDesk

  • Free trial: Yes (10 days)
  • Price: Could not be found
  • Tool type: All-in-one PR tool
  • G2 Rating: 4.2/5
[browser]Source: MyNewsDesk
Source: MyNewsDesk

Mynewsdesk can loosely be paired alongside Prezly in the category of “modern, all-in-one, PR platform.” 

You can really see this shine through with features like their online newsroom creator and custom email designer. This all comes together to make a platform that fits in nicely with PR pros who want to be more updated and web-first with their work.

However, while Mynewsdesk takes a step closer in the direction of ‘modern PR tool’, it doesn’t get all the way there. They still follow some dated practices like selling media lists and obfuscating their pricing. 

All-in-all, with Mynewsdesk, you’re looking at a platform that matches nicely with a strategy that incorporates a mix of current and traditional PR approaches. ​ 

Source

Pros:

  • Great for PR and news distribution
  • A good fit for businesses of all sizes

Cons:

  • Concerns about data quality
  • Customer service issues reported

Features:

  • PR and content distribution tools
  • Media database
  • Newsroom hosting

Pricing:

After plenty of looking, we could not find a reliable price listed for Mynewsdesk However, users have noted their starting prices being in the low-to-mid range.

This leads us to guess that Mynewsdesk’s pricing plans are likely a step up from what you’d find with a lower-priced alternative like Prezly. Roughly, we’d expect their starting plans to cost you anywhere between $100–$200/month. 

Though, it’s always best to be certain by getting a quote directly from their sales team.

Final verdict:

While Mynewsdesk is a refreshing alternative to more dated tools like Cision & Meltwater, it’s hard to suggest them over a similar tool like Prezly that comes higher-rated and at a lower price.

In our eyes, we’d only suggest going with Mynewsdesk if you’re in need of a lower-cost tool that also comes with a media database and wire services. Otherwise, try out Prezly. 

Onclusive

  • Free trial: No
  • Price: Starts at $4,999/year
  • Tool type: All-in-one PR tool
  • G2 rating: 4.4/5
[browser]Source: G2
Source: G2

Similar to Meltwater, Onclusive is known primarily as a media monitoring platform, but also comes with a suite of other dedicated PR tools. 

Onclusive’s main goal as a platform is to help their customers make the right PR decisions by providing them with actionable data and insights. 

This is why they focus most deeply on media monitoring, then provide other solutions to complement their insights. If media monitoring is a priority and you’re stuck between Meltwater and Onclusive, we’d suggest Onclusive. 

Pros:

  • Extensive media monitoring
  • Advanced analytics tools
  • Real-time insights and reporting

Cons:

  • Complex for new users
  • High cost
  • Steep learning curve

Features:

  • Automated media monitoring
  • Advanced data analysis
  • Social media tracking
  • Media database & outreach

Pricing:

Onclusive’s pricing is a mixed bag of hidden and public. 

Exclusively for media monitoring, their pricing is publicly listed as being $4,999/yr for 5 users. From there, if you want to use any of their other features, you’ll need to ask for a quote. 

Judging by user reviews, Onclusive’s pricing can get quite high, quite fast. Expect to see prices closely resembling veteran tools like Cision and Meltwater ($7,000-$10,000+/yr) for access to the full suite.

Final verdict:

If you are a PR pro at a large organization, with an overwhelming amount of data, we highly recommend taking a look at Onclusive. 

If you’re not at a large company, and don’t have a flurry of brand data you need to make sense of, we’d suggest trying out a more budget-friendly, growth-oriented PR tool like Prezly.

Business Wire

  • Free trial: No
  • Price: Starts at $940 for a national release
  • Tool type: Press Release Distribution
  • G2 Rating: 4.1/5
[browser] Source: Businesswire
Source: Businesswire

Business Wire is an incredibly popular Cision alternative used specifically for press release distribution. You might enjoy Business Wire if you're only looking to distribute a press release and don’t want to be fully locked into a traditional PR platform. 

When comparing Business Wire to Cision’s wire service, PR Newswire, we generally found that Business Wire is the better pick. Especially if you’re looking to run a deeply targeted campaign. 

It’s also a great option if you’re looking to distribute press releases while using a modern PR platform like Prezly.

Pros:

  • Deeply targeted distribution
  • Multimedia and social integration
  • Detailed reporting

Cons:

  • Not as wide reaching as similar tools like Cision’s PR Newswire
  • No press release writing service offered

Features:

  • National/global distribution
  • Targeted circuits
  • Multimedia integration​​​​

Pricing:

For a national release, Business Wire’s pricing starts at $940 per release. However, this price quickly adds up depending on your word count and if you want to include any multimedia content in your release.

For the full pricing breakdown, check out our article where we compare Business Wire and PR Newswire (and their pricing) in depth. 

Final verdict:

If you’re just looking for a tool to distribute press releases with, and you want them to be as targeted as possible, Business Wire is a great fit. However, if you’re looking to get results, we always suggest building relationships with journalists over paying for coverage. 

Want to give relationship building a shot? Prezly was designed to help you do exactly that. Try out a 14-day free trial and get a head start on earning effective media coverage.

Newswire

  • Free trial: No
  • Price: Starts at $349
  • Tool type: Press Release Distribution
  • G2 Rating: 4.4/5
[browser]Source: Newswire
Source: Newswire

Just like Business Wire, Newswire is another tool fully dedicated towards helping you distribute press releases. 

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, transparent wire service, they’re the one to go with. Ordering a campaign can be done in just a few clicks and comes at a fraction of the cost of alternatives like Business Wire and PR Newswire. 

Judging by their positive reviews, users appear to be getting comparable results, too. 

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Transparent pricing
  • Responsive support

Cons:

  • Censorship issues
  • Variable coverage quality

Features:

  • Press release distribution
  • Editing tools
  • Performance analytics​​​​

Pricing:

Newswire’s cheapest distribution plan costs $349 for one release. However, their most popular one is priced at $599. 

While a step up from their base cost, $599 for a campaign is still far friendlier on the wallet than an alternative like Business Wire. Especially considering that their only add-on fee is to embed video. 

If you’re planning to distribute a few releases, you can also buy them in bulk, saving you up to 20% off (for 24 PRs). 

Final verdict:

Newswire is our favorite Cision alternative if you’re exclusively looking for a user & budget-friendly wire service. Of course, if you have a larger budget, and want your release to be more tightly targeted, Business Wire could still be the better option. 

Otherwise, if you want an all-in-one PR software to work from, you’ll want to look at Prezly or another app on this list.

Which Cision competitor is right for me?

Finding out which Cision competitor is right for you depends on what you need most. 

If it's just press release distribution, you may want to look at Newswire for the best price, and if it's an all-in-one PR platform, you should look at Prezly or Muck Rack. 

With its 14-day free trial, modern interface, and low pricing, Prezly is the best Cision alternative to centralize your team’s PR workflow with.

Of course, there are always endless solutions to choose from in the PR software space. Hopefully, our list has helped you get closer to picking the one that's best for your needs.

 

 

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