Cision vs Meltwater vs Prowly – 2023 Pricing & Feature Comparison

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With all the PR software available in today’s market, choosing the best one for your needs is tough.

In this post, you’ll find a side-by-side comparison of 3 leading PR software platforms to help you choose the right tool for you.

We’ve included Cision and Meltwater, two long-standing PR tools, and Prowly which is a modern & budget-friendly alternative.

If pricing is the main factor affecting your decision, you might want to skip the comparison and give Prowly a try for free.

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Comparison overview

At a glance, here’s how Cision compares to Meltwater and Prowly.

The main differences lie in the pricing, media database size, and available features.

PricingFrom $7,200/yr*From $8,000/yr*From $258/mo
Contract LengthAnnuallyAnnuallyMonthly or annually
Media Database Size1.4M+380k+1M+
Press Release Creator
Press Release Distribution
Online Newsroom
Media Monitoring
Ease of useHardMediumEasy
Free, dedicated training
Free TrialFree 7-day trial
*Estimated pricing based on third-party-data and publically available reviews

Pricing comparison

One of the main factors in choosing a PR software provider is the price. And with some platforms costing well over $10,000 per year—it’s not surprising.

Pricing plans provided on website
PricingFrom $7,200/yr*From $8,000/yr*From $258/mo
Free setupUnknown
Contract LengthAnnuallyAnnuallyMonthly or annually
*Estimated pricing based on third-party-data and publically available reviews

Cision and Meltwater both offer only annual plans and can be expensive for smaller teams or PR agencies.

Unfortunately, both tools do not display their pricing plans, leaving you wondering how much a Cision or Meltwater subscription will cost you.

Because Cision and Meltwater do not display their pricing plans, the values above are estimates based on third-party data and reviews found online.

Cision pricing

Based on our research, Cision pricing starts at $7,200 per year. The price depends on the package of services you need, the size of the organization, and the number of accounts.

ProviderPricingContract length
CisionFrom $7,200/yr
Yearly only
cision pricing screenshot from reddit
Source: Reddit
cision pricing screenshot from facebook
Source: Profitable PR Pros

Ultimately, it’s hard to say how much Cision currently costs – to get the most accurate number it’s best to get in touch with a member of Cision’s sales team.

Meltwater pricing

Based on our own data and third-party sources, we estimate Meltwater to cost around $8,000 per year. The actual price will depend on the number of features and users and can be as high as $25,000 per year—or more.

Meltwater doesn’t display its pricing plans on its website. To get a quote, you’re required to fill in a contact form and get in touch with a representative.

ProviderPricingContract length
MeltwaterFrom $8,000/yr
Yearly only
meltwater pricing screenshot from reddit
Source: Reddit
meltwater pricing screenshot from a facebook group
Source: Profitable PR Pros

Depending on the chosen features, media database regions, the size of your team, and other factors, the price can go up dramatically, for example for 5 users and additional searches you can be charged up to $25,000 annually. Unfortunately, the exact factors that go into Meltwater’s pricing are also not transparent and publicly available.

Prowly pricing

Prowly has three subscriptions available with all features and costs listed on its pricing page. Users can choose to stay flexible with monthly plans or pay yearly and save up to 30%.

Prowly starts at $258 per month with the Essential Bundle when billed yearly.

ProviderPricingContract length
ProwlyFrom $258/moYearly and monthly
Prowly Pricing

Feature comparison

To make an informed choice when buying PR software, you should first learn about all the features included in the price of each solution.

Media database

If you’re solely looking for a media database, read the guide to choosing the best media database for PR.

All three providers offer a high-quality media database containing local and international media contacts.

Cision vs Meltwater vs Prowly – Database G2 Comparison
Source: G2

The main differences between each media database lie in the number of contacts, update frequency, and pricing.

Cision has the most media contacts available—over 1.4 million. Prowly has around 1 million, and Meltwater has over 400 thousand.

Keep in mind that for media databases “more is not always better” because the quantity and quality of contacts may vary depending on the location and beat you’re looking for—especially outside of the US.

In this case, the best solution is to ask for a sample or get a free trial, so you can see what’s available and have a look by yourself.

Prowly offers a free 7-day trial with full search access. It’s uncertain if Meltwater or Cision offers a free trial or sample; their product pages suggest that it’s possible to find out more during a demo call, but it’s not explicitly stated that they actually offer a better glimpse of their contacts.

Prowly’s Media Database

Media monitoring

Meltwater, Cision, and Prowly all offer media monitoring tools that are critical for tracking news and online media mentions of your company, competitors, or partners. Also – all tools offer social media monitoring and listening.

Here’s a list of the best social media listening tools to choose from.

Coverage reports

All three platforms offer PR reporting tools, which makes PR report creation fast and easy. Even so, Prowly has slightly better results in terms of measurements, monitoring data, and transforming it from Media Monitoring to visually compelling PR reports, according to user reviews in G2.

If you’re looking for a coverage report, read this guide to choose the best reporting tool for PR.

Source: G2

It is not known whether Meltwater or Cision provides a free trial, which makes it hard to analyze what functionality they provide for PR report creation. In Prowly you can use the 7-day trial period and create your own PR report.

Other features

It’s worth taking a look at additional features that are not always the primary reason for getting PR software but help with your PR efforts.

For example, Prowly offers a press release creator which lets you create visual press releases which are useful for standing out and getting the attention of journalists. You can keep all of your press releases in a journalist-friendly newsroom that is easy to read and share.

Examples of online newsrooms created with Prowly

Other important PR software features include distribution (pitching journalists) or being able to create and manage your media lists. All 3 platforms let you send personalized pitches with analytics and other bells and whistles.

But that’s not everything. Cision, Meltwater, and Prowly offer other additional PR features that are not covered in this general comparison. Find out more in the detailed comparisons below:

If you’re seeking a comparison of UK media databases, we recommend reading these articles: “UK Media Database Comparison – Pricing & Features” and “Roxhill 2023 Pricing — How Much Does it Cost?”.


Without the ability to try Cision or Meltwater for free, you might want to see what users are saying about all 3 PR tools on review platforms like G2.

Cision vs Meltwater vs Prowly – General G2 Comparison
Source: G2


Advantages of Meltwater:

➖ We take advantage of several saved searches that track media mentions. This uses boolean logic to get us the exact results we are looking for. The search function is also great for searching for mentions of our competitors, narrowing our search to a specific product we may have done a campaign on or a more broad topic outside of our company alone.

➖ Meltwater allows us to set up our own customized reports that are emailed to us on a regular basis that we request.

Disadvantages of Meltwater:

➖ Meltwater finds obscure placements, but it misses many on prominent websites. In the last month, it’s missed stories on Forbes, New York Times, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg.

➖ Meltwater can improve its updating of media contacts. I think they do this annually, but I average six or seven dead email addresses for every 25 reporters whenever I build a distribution list.


Advantages of Cision:

➖ Cision makes it easy to find relevant media to target for pitches and identify who their target demographic and efficiently build lists.

➖ I most like their media monitoring capabilities, as we have over 1,500 individuals whose media hits we monitor and Cision helped us set up this system. It’s by no means perfect, but works much better than what we were previously using.

Disadvantages of Cision:

➖ The information for journalists in Cision can be outdated at times and I’ve come across a number of journalists who are simply not listed. I wish this database was more accurate and up to date.

➖ Building reports to graphically look how you would like is not easy to do as a user, without requesting customer assistance help.

➖ Customer service/account rep is not always the most attentive to your needs. It could take days or weeks to get a response sometimes.

➖ Expensive!


Advantages of Prowly:

➖ I like just how simple it’s to add contacts into a customized media list. The user interface is really user-friendly and also the number of automation capabilities look after a few of the hard work associated with link building for you – individualizing as well as increasing your outreach could not be easier.

➖ Ease of use and that the team is very helpful, there is no upcharge to get help to set up the press release in the most effective way.

Disadvantages of Prowly:

➖ There is a bit of a learning curve, and support is on European time.

➖ I only wish there we more categories in the journalist database!

➖ It is not easy to customize pitch emails when sending a pitch and press release to multiple people.

Other alternatives

You’ve already seen how Cision compares to Prowly and Meltwater. If you’re looking to keep your options open, here are other possible alternatives to Cision for PR software:

  • Critical Mention for media monitoring
  • Agility PR for an all-in-one solution
  • Mention for media monitoring
  • Newswire for press release distribution
  • TVEyes for media monitoring
  • Muck Rack for an all-in-one solution

Cision offers a lot of different features across its platform, such as monitoring, finding contacts, or distributing press releases. When comparing alternatives, it’s important to decide which features you actually need to choose the best tool(s) to get the job done.


To sum up the Cision vs Meltwater comparison: Cision seems to be a slightly better overall solution with more features and a larger media database, but Meltwater leads with its media monitoring and more attractive price.

On the other hand, Prowly is a more modern and budget-friendly solution with similar features and transparent pricing plans.

We hope this comparison helped you answer some of your questions and make your process of choosing the right PR software a bit easier.

If you’re ready to start testing PR platforms, you can test Prowly completely free of charge for 7 days, no CC required, no strings attached.

Cover photo by Jason Briscoe