Mary Harris, a Specialist Professor of Public Relations (PR), has been working non-stop this year to create an awareness campaign for a cookbook written by physician and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM. The book, titled The How Not to Diet Cookbook, was published on Dec. 8.
“The book offers nourishing and affordable whole food plant based recipes designed for anyone looking to make healthy changes to their lifestyle,” she explained. Harris works as the Media Director of the science-based, non-profit website NutritionFacts.org founded by Dr. Greger.
Harris’ vast experience in the public relations field has helped her in the creation of this campaign. “I have worked in public relations and marketing for the past 14 years in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, so my experience with past promotions and campaigns has guided my work,” she said. She is also the co-advisor of the Public Relations Student Society (PRSSA) and the Shadow Public Relations Firm.
Harris defined an awareness campaign as “a planned series of efforts to bring awareness to a cause.”
Leah Frain, a senior communication student with a concentration in public relations and journalism, first had Harris as a professor in her Intro to Public Relations course. Frain said, “From the very beginning, it was evident that Professor Harris cares deeply about what she does and passing that knowledge onto her students.”
As the Vice President of PRSSA, Frain has worked closely with Harris to develop events for those who are part of the organization. She said, “Professor Harris, along with Professor Nulle, has been a great advisor for PRSSA. She encourages us to think creatively and work hard for all of our clients.”
Frain has briefly heard about this campaign Harris has working on. “I think that it is so cool and correlates to her passions that she shares with us in her courses,” she said.
Another former student of Harris is Courtney Ur, a senior communication student with a concentration in public relations, and President of PRSSA. Harris was Ur’s professor for the course Social Media in PR, and considers her a great mentor. Ur said, “Harris has been nothing but a role-model to me and has helped me by encouraging me to be the best PR student possible throughout my college years.”
Ur continued, “As the PRSSA advisor, Professor Harris has been nothing but helpful in making our chapter strong. She promotes our club by encouraging her own students to join, helps in our events by giving advice and participating.”
Ur was not aware that Harris was creating an awareness campaign but is excited to see what she does. “Professor Harris has been one of the best professors I have had and met at Monmouth University,” she said. “She encourages and leads her students to work hard.”
As Harris is an expert in this field, she was excited to take on this project and is very passionate about embarking on projects that help people achieve a healthy lifestyle.
“Our health is vital to the functions of our everyday lives, so my passion for educating others about lifestyle medicine is because of my desire for this important information to reach more people,” she said.
The process of creating this campaign has been going very well. Harris said, “People are generally very interested in learning how they can improve their health, especially during the pandemic.”
She continued, “I work with a dedicated team of professionals to create a vision and plan for outreach and achieving a successful book launch. It is our goal to reach the public through various social media, content creation, interviews with media outlets, and collaboration with other organizations”.
Harris said that Dr. Greger donates the proceeds from his books to charity. He has authored four other informative books, including How to Survive a Pandemic in August.
Harris hopes individuals take a lot away from the book, as it offers readers a variety of options for following a healthy lifestyle.
“The vast majority of the leading causes of death can be prevented through improvements in diet and lifestyle and that fad diets are not a sustainable or healthy way to lose weight,” she said. “A better approach backed by scientific evidence is centering one’s diet on whole plant foods, and following Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen and 21 Tweaks recommendations.”
Harris continued, “The book boasts 100 recipes inspired by culturally diverse cuisines and utilizes healthy whole plant foods, while encouraging healthy weight management. The cookbook would be a unique addition to any cookbook collection.”
IMAGE TAKEN from NutritionFacts.org