Ketchum assists online info effort

SAN FRANCISCO: Ketchum and client The Liberty Alliance Project have announced the first specifications for a proposed open, federated network-identity solution.

SAN FRANCISCO: Ketchum and client The Liberty Alliance Project have announced the first specifications for a proposed open, federated network-identity solution.

The alliance, a confederation of more than 60 technology and consumer companies, was formed in September 2001 with the intention of developing open standards for taking information from consumers online.

As it now stands, individual companies create standalone solutions, which means consumers must reenter information over and over again. The alliance hopes new standards can link systems and make for better internet purchasing experiences.

Ketchum was retained by the alliance in January, and has been working directly with its marketing group on developing messaging and press events.

The project was initially started by Sun Microsystems, and now includes members American Express, Deloitte & Touche, Ericsson, Intuit, and MasterCard International.

Ketchum works with PR and marketing departments of member companies - each of which has a PR designate to the alliance - to share information and media opportunities. The firm reports directly to Justin Erbacci, who is head of the marketing communications committee, and also head of systems architecture at United Airlines.

One of the alliance's key issues has been to explain its vision of the future. "The challenge is that this group has banded together feeling that there shouldn't be just one company that maintains all this data about your activities online, explained Lori Wood, SVP and group manager of Ketchum's tech practice.

A press event was held this week to announce the 1.0 specifications.

Wood said that the PR challenge now is to work with the membership to showcase how the specifications are being used or being implemented into business plans.

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