PR pros approach star appearances on 9 11 cautiously

LOS ANGELES: As the anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches, celebrity PR pros are being deluged with requests for their high-profile clients.

LOS ANGELES: As the anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches, celebrity PR pros are being deluged with requests for their high-profile clients.

From live concerts and memorial events in New York City to day-long programming blocks on all the major networks, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks is shaping up to be a media- and entertainment-intensive day.

"Every morning show, night show, and in-between show has been hounding me for the last week and a half, said Jerry Digney of Solters & Digney PR in Los Angeles. Digney client Ray Charles will sing "America the Beautiful in a pre-taped appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly on September 10.

But both PR pros and those planning the events are cautious of respecting national sensibilities, and avoiding star appearances that seem unnecessary.

For some celebrity handlers, that means advising clients to stay out of the limelight, while others limit clients to appearances that seem dignified.

"If there is some reason for it, I don't have any hesitation to recommend it, said Michael Levine of Levine Communications. "But the last thing you want is to be gratuitous."

That approach is echoed across the industry. "Whatever makes sense," says Rogers & Cowan's Paul Bloch of September 11 appearances. "Whatever is comfortable for the client."

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