Behind the success of established companies is their ability to adapt to the demands of the Digital Age. Gaining mileage for your products or services is now largely done online (e.g. with Help a Reporter Out), rather than through traditional marketing collaterals.
A beautifully designed public relations strategy is proven to be a must. And one of the best ways to increase your reach and earn the interest of your target audience is to build meaningful relationships with journalists and have them write about your startup or write an article about your business.
Right now, you might feel a little confused about how this whole PR outreach works. With various platforms out there, it can be overwhelming to choose one that will work out well for your PR needs.
In this post, we take a look at Muck Rack, a public relations management platform. Is Muck Rack legit? How can you use it for your business?
What Is Muck Rack?
Muck Rack is an online service used by both journalists and PR professionals to be up to date with topics trending online. It also verifies journalists’ online identities to help them broaden their reach. Likewise, it can analyze the most-talked-about events within a particular niche.
Muck Rack serves as a digital newsroom that provides a preview of reports that would appear in newspapers the following day. These are determined through monitoring stories that writers from various newspapers and publications talk about.
Who Uses Muck Rack?
The primary users of Muck Rack can be divided into two: journalists and public relations professionals representing businesses.
As of writing, more than 5,000 journalists have already requested to be listed in Muck Rack’s media database. Even top media organizations have asked their journalists to be listed in Muck Rack.
Those in the academe, like journalism professors, have included Muck Rack in their curriculum.
More than issuing a press release, increasing media contacts and achieving media coverage is vital for starting small businesses. For those looking for PR, Muck Rack is an effective avenue to get the media to write about you.
Muck Rack can easily find the right journalists for your pitch through their reports and activities using social media monitoring.
Its media database saves you time from looking for journalists who would be interested in your business. This can also minimize your effort in sending press releases and personalized pitches to so many reporters.
How Much Does It Cost To Join Muck Rack?
Muck Rack’s website doesn’t provide specific information about its pricing. You’ll be directed to their representative instead.
You can expect their sales team to discuss Muck Rack pricing in more depth. This isn’t a surprise, though, as this setup is standard for software and service providers.
Regardless, Muck Rack is estimated to cost $5,000 a year. This price can vary depending on which features you want to be included in the package. Some of the most common features included in Muck Rack pricing are the search functions, custom media list building, and pitching publications.
What Is Muck Rack Certification?
Fundamentals of Media Relation Certification is the first course from the newly established Muck Rack Academy. Completing this will earn you an industry-recognized certification.
Aside from the notable addition to your credentials, certification will also help increase your chances of receiving replies from journalists, secure your media placements, and equip you with the much-needed PR skills for your platform.
Muck Rack offers an engaging course built through a partnership with PR coach Michael Smart. This course is also backed by research from thousands of Muck Rack’s registered journalists and PR specialists in its media database.
These lessons are like online webinars with an average of 20 minutes each, presented as bite-sized, easy-to-understand videos. To assess your learning, there are short quizzes at the end of these lessons.
The topics under this Muck Rack certification include:
Understanding Today’s Journalists
Identifying the Right Journalists and Bloggers
How to Establish Relationships With Journalists and Bloggers
Pitch Personalization and Subject Lines
Framing Your News
Email Pitch Essentials
The Why and How of Pitching Follow-up
Is Muck Rack A Reliable Source?
Muck Rack can help you get the right public relations for your business, all based on actual monitoring of relevant journalist activities.
Muck Rack has varied functionalities based on social media interests that media people show online. It can monitor news and have a good gauge of what will be released in the news for the following day.
Well-known organizations like Taco Bell, Pfizer, Red Cross, Kauffman Foundation, Penguin Random House, and Knight Foundation use Muck Rack to improve their PR efforts. So, yes, Muck Rack seems to be a reliable source.
Pros and Cons of Muck Rack
Muck Rack is an incredibly powerful PR tool, but it’s important to scrutinize both sides of the deal. Doing so allows you to make well-informed decisions for your business.
Here are some pros and cons of Muck Rack, according to other PR professionals:
Muck Rack’s highly targeted media tool allows you to create a customized media list.
You have access to a customer support team 24/7. You can also contact their sales team and gain access to specific information about the software itself, especially about how to address your company’s needs.
You can host releases on your own websites, your client’s websites, and other platforms that redirect them to pitch emails. This allows you to enjoy better site traffic.
You have access to a good monitoring system that helps you keep up with any status changes, particularly when it comes to reporters you already follow. You can also monitor an unlimited number of clients.
Muck Rack has a modern, user-friendly design, with additional features that streamline otherwise tedious tasks like reports and summaries.
You have to manually export and add reports in another software. Muck Rack stands alone as a PR tool, so it cannot be integrated with other monitoring and reporting software.
When you’re saving a list, some press contacts can be missed so you’ll have to add them again. You can miss several reporters and coverage reports from industries when using the media research tool. You can choose to manually input missing coverages, but Muck Rack is yet to improve in securing critical and high-value placements.
You will have to search the relevant journalists’ profiles for their email addresses when exporting a media list.
If you pay for Muck Rack’s normal package, broadcast monitoring isn’t included. You also have limited options for the added broadcast tool functionality compared to other PR tools.
Muck Rack doesn’t offer a free trial.
What Is Muck Rack For Journalists?
Aside from businesses and PR professionals that represent them, Muck Rack is used by verified journalists as well.
Muck Rack offers journalists a more efficient collaboration with their media colleagues. Through managing media lists, you can do a great job keeping track of your peers’ activities with the help of this PR software. They can see who’s on the same beat and remain up to date with the same stories.
Muck Rack also helps journalists widen their reach by increasing their followers. The more followers they have, the more people will be interested in hiring them to cover their business.
Those who have access to Muck Rack Pro can even monitor what other professionals say about their published stories through their tweets.
Other Tools to Consider When Finding Media Contacts
What are your Muck Rack alternatives? Here are a few options where you can find journalists for PR:
Cision is another communication tool that offers social media management, media monitoring, publishing, and reporting to help you engage with your audience across various online channels.
This cloud-based platform enables PR Teams to enjoy the full services through paying for packages.
What does Cision cost? Like Muck Rack, these prices can only be revealed by talking to their sales representative, who can explain their pricing plans after considering the services you need and other factors involved.
Based on other users, though, Cision has an approximate annual cost of $7,200. This includes a media database, press release creator and distributor, and an online newsroom to monitor news.
If you want to include add-ons, additional licenses, and data, the pricing plan can reach as much as $10,000 per year.
Help A Reporter Out
Help A Reporter Out, more commonly known as HARO, helps PR professionals and businesses in finding media contacts to cover their stories. This is done by sending regular emails containing source requests from journalists.
You can easily use this request to send your pitch to your chosen journalists, even when there are reporters changing outlets.
HARO’s friendly user interface also helps journalists obtain reports through these emails instead of relying purely on press releases. It also makes scanning through pitches easier since PR specialists usually send customized pitches directly to journalists’ HARO inboxes.
You also can turn on Google Alerts for your email, so you can be immediately notified if you were mentioned in an article. It’s more convenient and will help you save time searching through articles.
When looking for journalists to write about your business, scanning newspapers is the most common thing to do. Under the section that suits your interest, you can find the right journalists based on their reports and contact details.
You can get a general feel if their writing style suits your preference through newspaper scans. Once you have found the proper journalist for you, look for their contact information under their columns.
You can maximize social media, especially Twitter, where you can follow the hashtags #PRRequest and #JournoRequest to see journalists who do PR. You can also click on the People Tab to be directed to their Twitter accounts.
After scanning their profiles for contact details, it’s best to research their works and published articles. This will help you decide which journalists can work best for your business, including proper delivery of the brand message, voice, and tone.
Communication and public relations software platforms like Muck Rack might seem a bit pricey, especially for startups that have a tight capital. But if you think about the returns that the right public relations will provide, it’s a worthwhile investment. You may want to consider this platform as an investment – not just an operating expense.
Muck Rack can give you the news of tomorrow—today! It can help you stay a step ahead of the competition as you find relevant media coverage that can boost your brand image and awareness.