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Published September 11th 2023

Why You Should Seriously Be Considering BuzzSumo As A Muck Rack Alternative

Media intelligence tools like BuzzSumo and MuckRack help PRs track mentions, find journalists, and connect with the right media contacts. 

But how do you know which one is best for your needs?

It’s my job to tell you the answer is of course BuzzSumo, but Muck Rack is an incredibly powerful tool – and both do things a little differently.

At this point you may be thinking: “How on earth is BuzzSumo in any way an alternative to Muck Rack – doesn’t it just do content?”

Up until recently you might have been right, but we’ve just launched three brand new media relations tools:

And now we help you at every stage of your PR journey: from content ideas to coverage.

Check out our media outreach walk-through below to get a better idea of how we support your digital PR strategy.

BuzzSumo's media outreach tools offer a great alternative to Muck Rack

More flexibility at a lower price

The first thing everyone wants to know is, of course, price.

You can access our Muck Rack alternative offering – BuzzSumo’s Media Database – plus a whole host of other important tools, for as little as $239/month on a PR & Comms plan annual subscription, or $299 for a monthly rolling subscription.

Check out BuzzSumo pricing and plans here.

By comparison, MuckRack offer annual-only contracts and do not publicly disclose their pricing. 

Despite this, different sources estimate the tool to cost between $5,000 (Frank Strong at Sword and The Script) and $10,000 a year (Prowly). 

That works out at anywhere between $417/month and $833/month.

And according to the first source, this price would be for just one seat / licence.

BuzzSumo’s PR & Comms plan, by comparison, offers five seats / licences at a fraction of the cost.

For in-house and agency based PRs, BuzzSumo's lower pricing and plans offer far more flexibility.

You can also take BuzzSumo for a test drive with fifty searches and near-complete access to the whole platform, in our free 30-day trial.

MuckRack offers a free plan, but many tools are gated by upgrades, and those that aren’t provide limited results (ie. ten articles or less, per search).

More historical coverage

We understand that to land PR wins in future, you need to be able to look to the past for examples of success. 

When it comes to retrospective coverage, Muck Rack reports: 

“Any search you run in Muck Rack will default to including the past 25 months of coverage from today's date (as that's the furthest back you can pull).”

On BuzzSumo’s PR & Comms plan – which features the Media Database, Media Lists, and AI Pitches – we give you access to 36 months of historical coverage data (three years), so you can:

  • Dive into trends in coverage
  • Report on your campaign performance over time
  • And research a journalist’s back-catalogue throughout the years

BuzzSumo users on the Suite and Enterprise plans get even more coverage insight, with five years of data.

More journalist engagement data

Muck Rack has some great engagement data built into its database, but it’s missing a key piece of the social puzzle.

While Muck Rack tracks Facebook and Pinterest engagement – and X (Formerly Twitter) engagement as part of its “Journalist shares” equation, it doesn’t have coverage over Reddit – which is an increasingly important platform for journalist activity.

In fact, according to our Content Analyzer, there has been a 35% uplift in journalist content shared on Reddit since 2019.

The full PR package: From content ideas to coverage  

From the Media Database, Media Lists, and Monitoring & Alerts, to Coverage Reports and AI Pitches, many of our PR tools feature-match that of Muck Rack.

But BuzzSumo also incorporates content and campaign ideation tools, which is something Muck Rack is not so strong on.

Having content performance tools in your PR platform gives you the ability to create PR around only the most engaging topics – and even personalize your campaign to the journalists you’ll eventually be pitching to.

It’s more important now than it’s ever been to bake relevance into your campaign from the beginning, since journalist’s cite relevance as the #1 factor they require from pitches, and ranking your PR is increasingly reliant on how relevant it is to your journalist’s audience.

While Muck Rack’s article search is great for finding mentions of keywords in content…

It doesn’t help you assess the effectiveness of that content – so when it comes to creating your PR idea, it’s not as easy to know what will catch a journalists attention and land you coverage.

BuzzSumo’s Content Analyzer lets you analyze headlines, publishers, and articles across many different metrics, including:

  • Facebook likes, shares, comments, and reactions
  • X posts
  • Reddit upvotes
  • Pinterest pins
  • Number of backlinks
  • Evergreen scores
  • Total engagement 
  • Total engagement over time
  • Total backlinks
  • Content published over time
  • Average engagement
  • Average number of backlinks
  • Total and average engagement by social network
  • Average engagement by content type
  • Average engagement by day published 
  • Average engagement by content length 
  • Facebook reaction breakdown

Which gives you the intel you need to create a successful PR campaign.

With this data you can:

  1. Find topic ideas from the most engaging headlines 
  2. Filter by journalist content and get ideas from PR that has actually made the press
  3. See which topics evoke the strongest emotions, to inform your own idea
  4. Justify your campaign ideas – to management or clients – with real data 
  5. Base your campaign ideas on a journalist’s most successful content
  6. Prioritize which journalists to pitch to, based on how well their content performs

Muck Rack Dashboards do feature some engagement data at a top-level but, as mentioned, this is based on fewer social sources and you cannot analyze articles individually, meaning you can’t assess a journalist’s archives.

Its Trends tool also goes some way to showcasing content performance but, again, only looks at growth from an aggregate perspective. 

This tool focuses solely on trends in the amount of articles, whereas our equivalent tool – the Content Analysis Report – compares amount of articles vs. article engagement.

The addition of social engagement can throw up some pretty interesting insights – for example, if you were to just look at the trend of AI articles written by journalists in Muck Rack, you’d see a line trending upwards…

Whereas in BuzzSumo you’d see definite growth in AI articles (blue bars) written by journalists, but a stark decline in total engagement (grey line).

With the addition of social engagement data in BuzzSumo, you can see if trends are kicking off or tailing off, and adjust your PR ideas accordingly. 

In fact, you can even repeat this analysis for the publications you intend to pitch further down the line. 

Here’s an analysis of AI content created by TechCrunch journalists, which reflects that same upward trend in articles, but downward trend in engagement.

From this data, you can infer that journalists at TechCrunch are becoming fatigued by the topic of AI – especially if it’s not helping them hit their engagement targets any longer.

BuzzSumo gives you the data to make the right decisions for your PR from beginning to end, making it more than just a Muck Rack alternative.

Forever up-to-date journalist data

In our journalist database, we push through an average of 350K updates to our Journalist Profiles every month – including:

  • X / Twitter bio info
  • Contact details
  • Topics
  • Article URLs
  • Engagement metrics
  • Total number of articles

We also let you refine your journalist searches by recency, so you can:

  • Find active writers to pitch
  • Track journalist career changes
  • Monitor publishing cadences to estimate coverage wait times
  • And more

We keep things fresh, to help you base your PR decisions on the most relevant data.

At the time of writing, Muck Rack do not disclose the frequency of their profile updates.

For coverage research and media outreach, having fresh data is crucial for finding the right contacts and opportunities early.

More coverage of domains and media outlets

With content tracked across 4.8 million domains / publishers, BuzzSumo casts a wider net than Muck Rack – which surfaces 600,000 sources by comparison. 

This broader tracking gives you a 360-degree view of your coverage opportunities.

Here are four ways you can assess publishers in BuzzSumo:

1. Search journalists by publication in BuzzSumo’s Media Database

2. Search a publication’s top headlines in the Content Analyzer

3. See a journalist’s publications via their database profile

See a journalist’s top publications via the Content Analysis report

More journalist contact information

BuzzSumo provides direct access to the contact details of over 700,000 journalists and influencers. 

By comparison, MuckRack has 300,000 verified journalists in its database.

Having a writers’ direct contact info helps you pitch relevant stories easily – there’s no need to scrape the web or ask connections for introductions. Instead, spend more time honing your pitch.

Wrapping up

For PRs and marketers who need flexible, affordable media intelligence, BuzzSumo provides better value. 

Key advantages like social engagement data, lower pricing, fresher information, and broader coverage make it easier to research competitors and directly engage relevant journalists and influencers.

Like what you see? Grab your 30-day free trial here.

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