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Meltwater vs Cision: Comparing Media Monitoring and PR Software

For public relations and communications professionals, using robust media monitoring and PR software is essential for managing media relationships, monitoring brand mentions, and measuring the impact of PR campaigns. Two popular options in this space are Meltwater and Cision.

Meltwater and Cision both provide media monitoring, PR measurement, social listening, and media database services. However, there are some key differences between the two platforms. This article provides an in-depth comparison of the features, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of Meltwater vs Cision.

Media Monitoring and Analysis

Media monitoring is a core function provided by both Meltwater and Cision. This involves tracking brand mentions across news websites, print publications, TV, radio, blogs, forums and social media. Some key capabilities for comparison:

Content Sources

Meltwater monitors over 300 million online sources including news websites, blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter and more. It also tracks over 55,000 print publications in over 100 countries. Meltwater has access to licensed content sources like Dow Jones, LexisNexis and Moreover. Television and radio monitoring is available as an add-on service.

Cision monitors over 1 million web sources, 50,000 print publications, 5,000 broadcast stations and millions of social media platforms. It also offers access to licensed sources from partners.

Overall, Cision may have a slight edge in terms of monitoring more content sources across online, print, broadcast and social media.

Search and Alerts

Both platforms allow users to set up searches based on keywords, phrases, topics, sources, authors, locations, languages and more. Alerts can be configured to receive monitoring results matching the search criteria on a regular basis.

Cision offers Boolean search syntax for building more advanced searches. Meltwater enables searching news content by date range. Both provide email digests, RSS feeds and customizable alerts.

The search and alerts capabilities are quite extensive on both platforms.

Sentiment and Analysis

Meltwater automatically categorizes news mentions by sentiment (positive, negative or neutral). Users can further analyze data by themes, topics, keywords, languages, locations and authors.

Cision’s sentiment analysis tool categorizes sentiment as positive, negative or neutral. Users can analyze results by location, topic, author gender, and other criteria. An auto-tagging feature categorizes content. Cision also provides additional analysis via Report Builder and Quick Search.

Meltwater and Cision are on par when it comes to sentiment analysis and configuring data filters for monitoring reports.

Exporting and Sharing

Both platforms make it easy to export monitoring results into reports and share via email or online dashboards. Export options include PDF, Excel, PowerPoint and more.

The exporting and sharing capabilities are very strong on both Meltwater and Cision.

Platform and Mobile Access

Meltwater and Cision both offer web-based platforms that can be accessed from any desktop browser. Mobile apps are available for monitoring on-the-go from iOS and Android devices.

The platforms and mobile access are robust on both sides.

Public Relations Software

In addition to monitoring, Meltwater and Cision provide solutions to manage media contacts, distribute press releases, and demonstrate PR results.

Media Database

Meltwater’s media database has over 700,000 media contacts globally. Data includes journalist and blogger contacts, publication details, contact info, interests, and past article data.

Cision’s media database includes over 1.1 million media contacts across a range of industries. Detailed profiles provide work history, interests, and past coverage.

Both platforms provide robust global media databases for connecting with journalists and influencers.

Influencer Identification

Meltwater helps identify key online influencers by publication, topic, location, social followers and engagement metrics. Custom influencer lists can be created.

Cision’s Influencer Graph uses natural language processing algorithms to identify and rank influencers. Influencers can be filtered by location, industry, expertise, engagement metrics and more.

Meltwater and Cision both provide powerful influencer identification capabilities.

Press Release Distribution

Meltwater offers PR distribution through newswires like GlobeNewswire and Business Wire. Releases can also be distributed to targeted journalist lists. Guaranteed pick-up by top-tier media outlets is not provided.

Cision offers both basic and guaranteed distribution via major wire services. Releases can be targeted to selected media contact lists. Cision’s distribution network can guarantee pick-up by major broadcast/print/web outlets.

For guaranteed placement with top media publications, Cision may have an advantage due to its extensive distribution network.

Communications Planning and Reporting

Meltwater provides PR planning and results reporting through its Engage platform. This allows creating detailed communication plans with objectives, budgets, tactics and more. Impact reports demonstrate media results.

Cision Impact offers customizable PR planning templates and drag-and-drop calendars. Robust reporting provides results across print, online, broadcast and social media.

Both Meltwater and Cision provide excellent solutions for PR planning, execution and reporting.

Social Media Management and Listening

Meltwater and Cision both offer social media management platforms to complement their media monitoring capabilities.

Social Publishing and Engagement

Meltwater’s social management platform allows scheduling and publishing content across multiple social accounts and profiles. It facilitates community management, engaging followers, monitoring conversations and more.

Cision’s social studio enables planning, publishing, engagement and management for top social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The platforms provide very robust social media management with comparable capabilities.

Social Listening

For social listening, Meltwater monitors major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more to analyze trends, sentiments, influencers, topics and conversations. Custom reports can be generated.

Cision Social Listening tracks brand mentions across social platforms. Sentiment, themes, influencers, share of voice and follower demographics can be analyzed. Data filters and custom reporting are available.

Again, Meltwater and Cision deliver strong capabilities for monitoring and analyzing social conversations.

Pricing and Support

Meltwater offers annual subscription plans for media monitoring, social listening, PR management and social media management as standalone or integrated solutions. Customized enterprise pricing is available but may require contact for quotes.

Cision provides custom pricing for monitoring, PR and social products based on usage needs. Large enterprise solutions and integrated platform bundles are available.

Both companies offer phone, chat and email support. Educational resources and communities provide additional support on top of direct assistance.


In summary, both Meltwater and Cision deliver robust media monitoring, public relations management and social listening solutions for PR professionals and marketing teams. They take slightly different approaches when it comes to areas like content sources, influencer identification and press release distribution. However, their core capabilities are comparable across monitoring, social listening, PR management and analytics.

Pricing for enterprises may come down to custom quotes based on specific solution bundles and number of users. Both platforms are supported by knowledgeable teams and offer an array of educational resources.

When choosing between Meltwater vs Cision, it is worth outlining your organization’s specific use cases, plans for platform integration, and budget. Comparing platforms via free trials can clarify which solution best addresses your needs. Overall, both Meltwater and Cision provide powerful media intelligence platforms to maximize the impact of PR and communications efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences between Meltwater and Cision for media monitoring?

The main differences are the number of content sources tracked (Cision monitors more), search capabilities (Cision has Boolean search), and access to licensed sources (both provide this).

Which platform provides more robust PR distribution and guaranteed media pick-up?

Cision offers both basic and guaranteed distribution through major newswires. Cision can guarantee top media pick-up while Meltwater does not.

How do the social listening capabilities of Meltwater and Cision compare?

Both platforms provide strong social listening with comparable features for monitoring major networks, analyzing sentiments/topics/influencers, and creating custom reports.

What kind of pricing models do Meltwater and Cision offer?

Meltwater has annual subscription plans while Cision provides customized pricing quotes based on needs. Both offer enterprise solutions.

Please note that the information contained in this post was correct at the time of sharing – please check out both services before coming to your conclusion. 

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