Cision has been in the marketing and public relations industry since 1932 and has developed an award-winning software product to help public relations professionals by giving them a comprehensive listing of news and media outlets, journalists, news distribution agencies and bloggers. This software is available for purchase with various licenses (single or multiple users).
- Highly-focused targeting
- Free trial
Cision software allows for highly-focused targeting of media campaigns and is used by over 95% of all top PR firms in the United States. In addition to a comprehensive and frequently-updated list of media contacts, Cision offers tools for analyzing past campaigns and planning future releases. This data is delivered in a raw-form, and those familiar with Google Analytics will feel more comfortable analyzing and planning based upon the graphs and statistics presented.
Cision will give new customers a free trial (10 days) upon request, during which they may test-drive the web-based software and begin the learning curve without a financial investment. Those taking advantage of this trial should be prepared to dedicate a significant span of time to learning the product, since it is not necessarily intuitive.
- Customer service
- Database updates
- Learning curve
Cision's website and customer service are not the most informative when it comes to the nuts and bolts of their products. As such, it is difficult to research the basics to determine exactly what is included and how much it will cost to use Cision's services.
Customer service agents do not automatically offer the free 10-day trial, but when asked, will do so. After the trial begins, there are several reminders from Cision about the need to upgrade to continue using their software and the intensity of the sales pitch from the company grows.
There are some reports which state that the Cision database is not frequently updated, but this information could not be confirmed or disproven at this time.
There is a steep learning curve involved to using this software and it requires use of Cision's training materials, which are plentiful and informative - just time-consuming.
The Bottom Line
At this time, there is a very small percentage of businesses which would be a good fit with Cision. The product is a solid one, but the pricing ranges from about $300-$1000/month. (Cision only gives personalized quotes and does not publish pricing on their website.) Cision gives non-profit discounts, which may make the software affordable for those in the non-profit sector.
The company has a solid reputation and tools are included to plan and analyze past campaigns, to maximize exposure to the best targeted markets possible. Using Cision might be compared to taking a high-priced luxury vehicle to complete carpooling assignments - it will do the job, but is probably overkill and too overpriced for many.