MEDIA DATABASE TOOLS
MEDIA DATABASE COMPARISON:
Discover the Top 3 Tools for PR Professionals in 2021
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Merriam-Webster 2020 word of the year was pandemic. Due to COVID-19, vast numbers of the global workforce moved from shared spaces to makeshift home offices—including journalists.
Now, PR pros are no stranger to journalist transitions. Journalists often work for several outlets at the same time and switch jobs frequently, meaning their contact information is constantly changing. But along with their office plants, journalists also abandoned their desk phones in 2020, and so a traditionally relied upon method of contact disappeared.
Modern media relations must be powered by an accurate and dynamic media database. It’s the best way to keep up with all the changes (unprecedented or not) and to discover new opportunities for earned media coverage.
For better or for worse, there are many options to choose from. In this guide, you’ll get the information you need to make an educated choice about which media database platform will best meet your needs in 2021 and beyond.
CISION vs MELTWATER vs AGILITY PR SOLUTIONS:
These three are the real leaders in the media database space.
Cision and Meltwater are the most well-known brands, as their tip-top position along the Market Presence axis reflects. There is much discussion about which of the two brands users prefer… or don’t. A multitude of PR professionals have switched back and forth between them, sticking with one until dissatisfaction propels them to switch to the other.
This Reddit discussion shows the typical frustration that communications professionals feel about the big names.
SWITCHING PROVIDERS ISN’T ALWAYS EASY, especially if you have spent a lot of time and effort building useful lists and search criteria, or if your organization relies heavily on historical records contained in your account. Even so, no one wants to be stuck in a bad relationship with their media database provider. It’s always worth getting good tools that will keep you happy for years to come.
Agility PR Solutions does not have the same brand recognition as Cision and Meltwater, so there is less public commentary regarding them. But they do receive the highest score for User Satisfaction and among their growing user base, they’re rated very well.
THE COMPARISON TABLE FROM G2 SPEAKS FOR ITSELF:
- Meets Requirements 79% 79%
- Quality of Support 80% 80%
- Ease of Setup 79% 79%
- Ease of Admin 81% 81%
- Ease of Use 76% 76%
- Ease of Doing Business with 83% 83%
- Product Direction (% positive) 70% 70%
- Meets Requirements 76% 76%
- Quality of Support 83% 83%
- Ease of Setup 76% 76%
- Ease of Admin 81% 81%
- Ease of Use 77% 77%
- Ease of Doing Business with 78% 78%
- Product Direction (% positive) 71% 71%
Agility PR Solutions
- Meets Requirements 82% 82%
- Quality of Support 88% 88%
- Ease of Setup 86% 86%
- Ease of Admin 84% 84%
- Ease of Use 81% 81%
- Ease of Doing Business with 86% 86%
- Product Direction (% positive) 76% 76%
Source: g2.com January, 2021
It may differ from person to person, but the most popular ranking factors to consider are Ease of Use and Quality of Support. These are the factors that impact the day-to-day quality of life for a PR professional using one of these tools.
Let’s take a look at why Agility PR Solutions leads across some of these fields.
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS WITH
This is a big one…
There are a number of reasons why Agility PR Solutions scores highest here—partially because Cision and Meltwater both have some strikes against them (users speak of pushy sales teams, and lack of willing and available support representatives), but mainly because Agility does some things that stand out.
Agility makes it easy for you to check out their media database tool on your own terms. Prospective customers can watch product videos, schedule a 1-to-1 consultation, or even request a trial to see how the platform works. It’s flexibility built for your needs.
AGILITY PR SOLUTIONS
QUALITY OF SUPPORT
Agility gets the highest marks from its verified users on G2 for Quality of Support. Here’s why:
Free training: Agility users have numerous resources available to them. You can request a personal walkthrough and book time on the support team’s calendar. You can watch a series of “quick start” videos to learn the basics fast. And if that isn’t enough, you can search the library of support articles to get the answers you need.
Live chat: There is a live chat widget right in the platform, so if you ever need a hand, or just don’t want to go through the library of articles yourself, Agility’s support team is available in real time.
Request contacts: As with any media database, occasionally you won’t find contacts in some niche areas. Not to worry! You can just let the support team know who or what you’re looking for and the research team will get back to you with updated results—usually within a few hours.
I find the system intuitive and easy to use which is really important when I’m rushing to get an announcement out the door.
The Agility team has been amazing and proactive in communicating with us with all sorts of enquiries. We are always in good hands.
A great, fully helpful platform with wonderful customer service.
OVER TO YOU!
Despite all the data, graphs and user reviews alone can’t determine whether or not a product is right for you. You’ll need to try it out for yourself!
No two people will have the same experience with a media database, so it’s important to evaluate your options using your own criteria. While G2 gives you a great starting point by identifying the industry leaders (Agility PR Solutions, Meltwater, Cision), it’s important to now dive into some of the nitty-gritty on your own.
During your research, be sure to consider some of the things mentioned above, such as how easy the company is to do business with, how simple the tools are to use, how responsive and helpful the training and support is, as well as their ability to address specific requirements and remain innovative.
If you’re looking for an extra resource on the types of questions you should be asking potential media database vendors, the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Media Lists provides more suggestions. Or if you’re ready for a free and personalized tour, we’d love to show you our media database.