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Be very very careful if you choose Meltwater. In their small print, there's a requirement to let them know a couple months in advance if you don't plan to re-up for the following year, or they'll just charge you for the next year...and you're stuck using them again. What's crazy, in my opinion, is they will just waive this requirement if you ask in advance of signing that first contract with them. We found out about this the hard way.
We had used Meltwater or about 8 months and decided it wasn't for us. We are a B2B agency that works in the construction equipment realm. We realized the audits that Meltwater was doing in this arena were sometimes 5 years old, so we were getting contact data that was useless. So I decided once our 12 months were up, we would just move onto something else. Well, 1.5 months before our contract was to end, someone from Meltwater contacted me to ask about our renewal. I said we wouldn't be renewing, and that's when they pointed out the very small print that we actually couldn't cancel for another year. When I complained about such a requirement, they said something like "well, you should have asked us to waive this in the beginning." I just found that to be so ridiculous. As I explained to them, essentially you are counting on people to miss the deadline so they were stuck with another contract. In my mind, that's not a way to build trust, or longtime customer loyalty.
We eventually ended up negotiating that we would pay them $1,000 to get out of the contract. Live and learn.
Next we moved onto Cision and I couldn't be happier. There are some features that don't work as well as advertised, but - again - it may have a lot to do with our B2B focus.
We're a small agency and we use Cision for our PR efforts. The research capabilities are effective (especially in the niche, B2B spaces we're often operating in for the majority of our clients), but it is a bit pricey for what it ultimately offers. We've had issues with distribution, merging lists, etc. We recently were upgraded to their new platform, which brought them out of the stone age into a more user friendly era. That was a positive. Overall, we find Cision to be a necessary tool because of the lack of other competitive services.
We are a small agency mostly doing local PR. We need a release company that can help us with some national distribution. What does Cision cost? We are hoping to find a company that just charges by the release, and not an annual fee, unless the annual fee is small. It looks like a lot of these companies don't post their prices online.