Thanks to Lindsay Bell and an appropriately pitched story idea from a PR firm here in Chicago, I have a special surprise for you.
This is going to both surprise and anger you…at least anger you if you consider yourself a writer.
It is both cool and a little disappointing.
It is surprisingly accurate, but also a bit limited.
It is the Content Idea Generator from Portent.
Content Idea Generator, Say What?
A what, you ask? That’s right. It’s a tool that helps you generate ideas for your content.
There is no trial to use. It takes less than five seconds to figure out if you like it. It doesn’t cost anything. And yet, it gives you a gazillion really great (and some terrible) ideas for the headlines you can use to entice people to want to learn more.
I put in “public relations” as my key term and I got, “How Public Relations Changed How We think about Death.”
Okay, kind of clever, but not totally appropriate so I hit the whirly gig button and got, “Sixteen Uses for Public Relations.”
Now we’re getting somewhere! As I continue to hit the whirly gig button, I get “The Best Ways to Use Public Relations,” “How Hollywood Got Public Relations All Wrong,” and “Why Public Relations is the New Black.”
I also love how it tells you why these headlines work (appeal to people’s fears, lists are popular, and here’s your chance to outdo MacGyver) and appeal to reader’s senses.
Of course, this still requires you to write the content for these headlines, but immediately you have an idea or two (or 16) that are actually viable.
We Don’t Like…
Right now, the only thing that kind of stinks is there seem to be a limited number of ideas. For instance, “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Using Public Relations” is used for nearly every subject you use: Marketing, search engine optimization, leadership, pickles, and kittens.
And, if there were 378 tweets on it this morning while I wrote this, that number is going to exponentially increase as more and more people discover it.
Which means the web will soon be filled with, “Eleven Problems with Public Relations” and “Eleven Problems with Marketing” and “Eleven Problems with Umbrellas.”
But all-in-all, it’s a very cool tool that helps you come up with an idea for content, it’s free, and it doesn’t hurt anything to try it.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll soon see a post here titled, “How Public Relations is Better than Sex.”