About This guide

The aim of the Naturopathic Alliance is to evaluate, curate, and present our patients and communities with the best information available. Our current focus is COVID-19. This document provides guidance and criteria to those submitting potential articles and blog posts for our website.

We are informed by the CDC’s Field Epidemiology Manual, specifically the chapter on communication:

Risk communication literature identifies four factors that determine whether an audience, including journalists, will perceive a messenger as trusted and credible, including

  • Empathy and caring,
  • Honesty and openness,
  • Dedication and commitment, and
  • Competence and expertise (6,7).

Organizations and spokespersons who issue messages and information that convey these four factors are more likely to maintain and even build trust during a crisis.

Key points to remember for any post

  • This group exists to counter misinformation and provide/promote good information to the naturopathic profession, other healthcare workers, and the public. 
  • Knowledge in general (and particularly regarding COVID-19) is evolving. There is much to learn. Therefore we have to engage with information and with others in a spirit of curiosity and humility.
  • We are professionals. We focus on the arguments. No personal attacks or snark.
  • Participating in this group and/or writing for its blog is an act of service.
  • Division is making COVID-19 worse. We need to remind people that we’re all in this together, and model this for our audience. We don’t spend time trying to convince the closed-minded, but we offer a continued open door and empathy. 
  • Be concise. Use only enough words to convey your meaning. Short but sweet.
  • Write in a way that you would for your patients. NDs and other healthcare practitioners who use our posts as ways to communicate with and educate their own patients will help amplify our message.

Include a call to action

End each post with action the reader can take. Examples:

Action you can take: Share this with your network so they will know that, while relatively rare, it is possible for children to contract COVID-19, and that in some cases it leads to hospitalizations. Initial evidence suggests that most children acquire the novel coronavirus from adult relatives, but more study is needed.

Action you can take: Share this with your network. The propaganda of “Plandemic” was very effective in undermining trust in public health measures and officials, the very thing that is necessary to combat an epidemic.

Action you can take: Consider carefully whether any study on testing results can represent a larger population. How were subjects recruited for these studies? Was there opportunity or reason for the results to be skewed in a particular direction, even if the study authors had the best of intentions? What are the underlying assumptions of the study methods and conclusions? (And of course, please share this post with your friends and family.)

References

When sharing an article or someone else’s work:

  • Never link to misinformation/propaganda; it has enough circulation.
  • Add some value – highlighting a quote or statistic, discussing its implications or how it fits in with other information, etc.
  • ALWAYS ATTRIBUTE (hyperlink, footnote, etc.)

Language and tone

  • Be calm and circumspect.
  • Be warm and empathetic in a professional way. Show that we understand that sometimes all options are painful in some way.
  • Don’t exaggerate. This includes watching your adverbs and adjectives. “Disaster” is enough; we don’t need to write “terrible disaster”.
  • Keep language clear and professional. Use big words or long sentences sparingly. Assume your audience is reasonably well-educated but doesn’t have the time or energy to wade through dense text.
  • When talking about the disease, use this format: COVID-19. When talking about the virus that causes the disease, use its official name: SARS‑CoV‑2. (Please note and use this formatting.)
Stylistic points

  • Delete “I feel that” or “I believe” before a statement from your writing. Example: “I feel that wearing a mask is the least we can do to protect those around us.”
  • When you have more than one reference to support a point you’re making, use hyperlinks like this (here and here).