Not Flawless But the Best PR Database I've Used
Updated December 04, 2014

Not Flawless But the Best PR Database I've Used

Susan Tull | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

CisionPoint

Overall Satisfaction with Cision PR Software

  • Helps a PR professional identify the right media contacts quickly.
  • Enables easy bulk emailing to news media and bloggers.
  • Makes it easy and efficient to find out about editorial calendar opportunities for any number of media outlets.
  • Cision could do a better job of keeping its data fresher. Too often, I report editorial staff changes that Cision's research department should have already discovered.
  • The tool for building emails is buggy and the work-arounds add more time to my work.
  • Efficiency in identifying the right journalists and bloggers so I can build high quality media lists.
  • Efficiency in distribution of news releases and other communications to hundreds of journalists and bloggers.
There was a major outage of the service earlier this year, rendering the system unusable for the better part of a day and partially during the following day. It was very difficult to get information about what was happening until I persisted and finally got to talk with a supervisor. Cision did not send me (and presumably others) real time updates, so those of us who had to issue news releases on those days were left in the lurch.
I prefer Cision to Vocus -- better content and information, plus great ability to filter and get the information you want/need for precise targeting of the right media outlets, editorial contacts and editorial calendar opportunities.

Using Cision PR Software

1 - PR consultant
  • I use Cision daily to identify appropriate journalists and bloggers and also get their contact information. Additionally, I search the database for editorial calendar opportunities. And I send emails and news releases to these contacts -- sometimes hundreds of them -- via Cision's bulk email tool.

Evaluating Cision PR and Competitors

Prior to Cision, I used Vocus.

Cision PR Implementation

There is no implementation at the customer's end so this doesn't really apply to my instance of Cision (possibly to all instances of it).
  • Vendor implemented
It's a cloud-based service that the company just "turns on" for me to use. All I have to do is login.

Cision PR Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
Basic functionality is easy to learn without training/attending instructional webinars but if you want to use drill-down features, one-on-one training and webinars are best. That said, I always feel that customer support professionals, and my account executives, are pushing me away from one-on-one training and instead to use online resources. I learn better from one-on-one training so I don't appreciate this pressure.

Cision PR Support

I cannot always get a hold of someone who is fully familiar with all aspects of the system. I've actually received incorrect information when seeking technical support. And immediately following a recent major system upgrade that disrupted some key functionality, the customer service was atrocious. Although I later found out that the company was aware of the problems and working to correct them, I never received any type of notification and, instead, wasted a lot of time trying to figure out the problem. It was frustrating and I was unable to perform some time-sensitive work.
No - No need for that level of support.

Using Cision PR

It's improved a lot. I used a much earlier version of Cision several years ago -- before I switched to Vocus and then moved back to Cision this past September. By the time I came back to Cision, the user interface has been simplifed and the product has become much more user-friendly.

Cision PR Reliability

Generally, Cision performs well day to day, but it's got some annoying bugs that slow down usage/require user workarounds which is inefficient. More seriously, a few months ago, as a result of a major system upgrade, certain critical functionality was not working and I was unable to use the service for more than a day when I had time-sensitive work to execute.

Integrating Cision PR

Relationship with Cision

I was able to get Cision to handle importation of about 10-12 media lists from my legacy PR database without charging me about $1,000. I also got several thousand extra distribution points at no charge, enabling me to send more news releases and other communications to more contacts every year without paying extra. I tried but was unable to get any other type of discount on the North American database, the Cision product I use.