How Manufacturers Can Connect With Audiences Through Authentic Storytelling

Episode 183

May 10, 2022

Building a storytelling program takes time and patience for an organization to understand their purpose and brand. In today’s episode we welcome back Kristin Fallon, Vice President of Brand and Digital Marketing at GE Healthcare. Kristin walks us through the planning process behind a captivating and long-term storytelling program and her experience working in the healthcare industry during COVID. She provides details on how manufacturers can create their own storytelling program with marketing and strategy tools including templates and a storytelling wrangler.

How Manufacturers Can Connect With Audiences Through Authentic Storytelling Transcript:

Announcer: You’re listening to The Kula Ring, a podcast made for manufacturing marketers. Here are Carman Pirie and Jeff White. 

Jeff White: Welcome to The Kula Ring, a podcast for manufacturing marketers brought to you by Kula Partners. My name is Jeff White and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, how you doing, mate? 

Carman Pirie: Look, man. I’m doing well. I managed to get a little bit of time in the sun recently, so I’m feeling this is like… This podcast has like 30% more tan than normal, so I’m-

Jeff White: You’re almost glowing. 

Carman Pirie: No, so look, I’m happy to be here. 

Jeff White: Yeah. No, I-

Carman Pirie: And even more excited for today’s guest, in fact. 

Jeff White: Yeah. I’m really looking forward to this because we’ve been lucky recently to be able to reconnect with some of our early guests on the show, and find out where they are now, what they’re doing, how their ideas and strategies have progressed, and this guest has a very unique perspective and experience that not a lot of others do. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And so, let’s just dive in. I think it’s an exciting topic. It’s something that is on the tip of a lot of marketers’ tongues, but I feel that today’s guest gets to a level of depth that many don’t. 

Jeff White: Absolutely. So, joining us today is Kristin Fallon. Kristin Fallon is with GE Healthcare. Welcome to The Kula Ring, Kristin. 

Kristin Fallon: Thanks. Thanks for having me back. 

Jeff White: Yeah. It’s more a welcome back situation. 

Carman Pirie: Indeed. Indeed. Jeff, you’re just programmed to say, “Welcome to The Kula Ring,” with your radio voice, and then… Yeah.

Jeff White: Then there’s nowhere to go. 

Kristin Fallon: I remember laughing this much on the last one, by the way. 

Jeff White: I relistened to it recently. We definitely did. 

Carman Pirie: Kristin, you were with GE previously-

Jeff White: But the power division. 

Carman Pirie: The power division, correct? Yeah. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. 

Jeff White: And now Healthcare. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. Yeah. You know, one of the fun things about working for a big conglomerate, which by the way, will no longer be a big conglomerate in about eight months because we’re breaking up, but it’s fun because you get to kind of stay in the same company culture, but you move to different industries. So, I went from power all the way over to healthcare, which is a lot more consumer facing but still very B2B. 

Carman Pirie: And the thing I think that you’ve brought with you is an approach and way of thinking about brand storytelling that is-

Jeff White: It’s unique. 

Carman Pirie: Unique, and I think has more meat on the bone than I think we’re often used to seeing. I’ll just call marketers out now and then we’ll lose like half of our audience or something, but no, but you guys know. Marketers, you guys listening, you know. You say the word storytelling and all marketing storytelling, humans connect with stories, et cetera, et cetera, and we’ll all spin that, but okay, now what? What are you doing? 

Jeff White: Yeah. How are you bringing that to life?

Carman Pirie: And man, it gets really thin, really fast with a lot of marketers, and it’s even worse in manufacturing, probably. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. I think that is so true because you tend… And I mean, I even feel it as a consumer of some of this content, right? Like some of the storytelling you’re referencing targets me and it’s like I think marketing, maybe where we get it wrong is either it’s sort of shallow or superficial storytelling, you’re like, “Oh, they put makeup on this person in the story.” Somehow it just starts to feel a little contrived and scripted. And I know why we do that, and it’s to protect ourselves, and make sure that the message is coming across right, but I think you lose people with that a little bit. I think the other thing is sometimes in marketing if storytelling isn’t baked into your long-term strategy, then it’s just little one-off campaigns, if you will. And I think what has changed in marketing… I don’t know, let’s say in the last five to ten years, but definitely this was happening before COVID, is I think that people want to have a more profound and a longer-term relationship with their brands that they engage with, and if you don’t have a long-term storytelling strategy, then it’s again, a little bit superficial, right? Because it’s just these little pops instead of building something out that’s maybe more meaningful. 

Jeff White: Last time when we spoke, when you were with GE Power, you were kind of at the tail end of producing some really high-caliber content in conjunction with CNN, and can you just bring our listeners up to date a little bit on kind of what you brought from that with you to Healthcare and how you began to approach that? Especially as we moved into a major global pandemic? 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. So, that project was in many ways my swan song out of GE Power, because it was soon after that that I was brought into Healthcare to build their storytelling program, and what had happened was we entered into a partnership with CNN International and with their in-house studio, Courageous. They’re just a terrific studio. And so, we had hired on-camera talent, his name is Mikey Kay, basically traveled out to different sites where we were delivering power and talked about the human impact of those projects, and this was a very kind of short-term campaign, one-time storytelling program, but it was so successful. We found that our employees really gravitated to this content. Our external audiences, our customers loved it, and it performed really, really well not only on our own channels, but in CNN, so we were like, “You know, we have something here. A little bit of a formula that we’re seeing work.” 

And you know, fast forward then to Healthcare, I was brought in to build a storytelling program, and so kind of took some lessons from that, and actually literally, the host, Mikey, and ended up building a new storytelling program here in Healthcare. 

Carman Pirie: So, I want to talk about that kind of tactical delivery of that, if you will, but maybe before we do that, kind of how did you… I guess how do you begin to strategically think about instituting a storytelling program? Maybe just give us a peek into your process or way of thinking about it. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. For us, very truthfully, we were thinking about it and then the world… COVID happened and sort of forced us into it. So, in that sense I’m a little grateful that we had this galvanizing moment to just force us into something, because I think we were maybe deliberating a little too long on it, so we knew we wanted to launch a storytelling program. And so, we were thinking about like what is it that we want to cover, and where do we want to go, and so we were kind of like looking big picture at the business strategy, and we couldn’t really land anything, and I’m gonna come back to why we’ve changed.

So, we were very kind of inside-out looking. It was like, “What are the stories that we want to tell?” And nothing was really resonating for us. Well, then, so we’re in the middle of developing this strategy, and thinking it through, don’t have it baked, and then COVID happens. So, being in the healthcare industry, we saw the pandemic before a lot of the rest of the world did. What I mean by that is we all knew in January. So, the pandemic was declared a pandemic in March. We all knew. You had to be living under a rock to not know this. In January, we knew that there was a virus that was really scary that was taking hold in China and there was a chance it was gonna move beyond, right? 

And then we started watching it move beyond while as a healthcare company, by early January, demand for our equipment was skyrocketing. I mean, it was exponentially jumping up to the point where we had to hire a charter plane to get that equipment to the places where it was needed quickly, and also used that charter plane to actually bring in all of the different supply chain to our manufacturing sites. So, this plane was constantly running. There were a couple of them. 

And we started bringing our workers off of… You know, we have a lot of desk workers that were sitting in buildings right next to the manufacturing sites. We were actually bringing desk workers into the manufacturing sites and training them up to build equipment, like ventilators, to meet this demand. So, what happened was this was going on and you get to March and the world narrative is just turning darker and darker. Naturally, it was a very terrifying time, and if you kind of… You know, I think we’ve all come to learn to live with COVID, and masks are very normal, using air quotes, but there was a period when this was scary, and we didn’t know how COVID was transmitted, and you thought you might go to the grocery store and touch something and get it, right? We just didn’t even know. 

And so, the narrative in the media was really, really dark. Well, we’re sitting there and we’re seeing a narrative that’s actually counter to the narrative in the media, and it’s not to say that the media narrative was wrong. It was scary and it was a dark period of time. But there was this counter narrative of optimism, courage, hope, of all of these people rallying together in a really beautiful way to help each other. And the other thing I think we take for granted is that COVID, everywhere in the world has pretty much probably been touched by COVID, right? When else in our lifetime has something been so ubiquitous around the world? 

And so, we suddenly saw that our employees in all different parts of the world were having the same exact experience, so we decided this was our moment to tell a different narrative, and if you are the news, which we were the news at that time, why not turn yourself into a news station? So, we ended up… I called up Mikey Kay, because I knew him from our prior work with CNN. He’s ex-military. He’s not afraid to go into challenging situations. And we basically, and I’m way simplifying this, because it was a battle internally to get approval for this, but we hired him, put him in an RV, and we sent him around for a month to tell stories from the front lines of our own people at the manufacturing sites, as well as our own customers, and basically turned our social media feed into a news channel with constant video updates. 

Carman Pirie: 42 videos in 42 days, is that right?

Kristin Fallon: Yes. We didn’t sleep. 

Carman Pirie: Very cool. 

Jeff White: Watch some of the videos, and we’ll certainly link them, link up the campaign in the podcast transcript, but tell us about the kinds of things that you were doing with that, because I can imagine what those conversations were like about, “All right, guys. We’ve got this great idea. We have this incredible opportunity. Everybody in the organization is pitching in and making sure that we’re going to meet the demands and we need to tell those stories.” I can imagine you got a whole lot of people who are just like, “I don’t know, you know?” 

Carman Pirie: Maybe not the right time. 

Jeff White: Maybe we should just stay quiet on this, eh? 

Carman Pirie: Well, they probably didn’t-

Kristin Fallon: 100%. 

Jeff White: Probably not. 

Kristin Fallon: That was the conversation we had. So, there was a lot of concern about going out and telling these stories for a lot of reasons. One, we were concerned about the optics of putting a filmmaker out in the world at literally the moment that state borders were shutting down. We did have some challenges because the environment was changing so radically from one day to the next, we had actually gone and filmed for a whole week before the mask mandate came out, and then that Monday, when we were gonna air the films, the mask mandate came out by CDC and we didn’t want to air these films because we didn’t want to put ourselves at risk of… Even though we filmed them before the mandate came out, that might not be how it would be perceived on social media, and so we were opening ourselves up to reputational risk there, so we had to go and refilm a whole week’s worth of films. 

We had leaders who were very reluctant, rightfully, to talk about the volume of equipment we could deliver, because this equipment became highly politicized. You had governments of countries putting in orders for ventilators, right? This was no longer just a hospital here and there. And here in the U.S. even, you may remember President Trump ended up talking about the Wartime Act and sort of forcing manufacturers to convert whatever kind of manufacturing facility over to producing this sort of equipment, and we ended up partnering with Ford, and that was a great story, but point being you’re exactly right. There’s a lot of things that were very scary for us to put out there. And so, we did, the way we mitigated this was we had a very rigorous process on the backend to get approval for all of these, which is also what makes the 42 videos in 42 days so impressive, because we had a three-day turnaround from when it was filmed to when it went live. So, in those three days you had to go through post-production, legal reviews, and then media reviews and senior leadership. So, that was one way that we addressed this. 

The other thing, though, that becomes so remarkable, and ultimately this is what’s led us into our present-day storytelling strategy, is the authenticity worked. Being honest, putting a filmmaker out there at a time that was really scary, telling these stories of people on the manufacturing lines who are coming out of retirement, coming off their desk job, these are powerful stories. And the world needed those at that time. And so, we saw from the very moment we released the first film incredible engagement, like record-breaking engagement for us, and that continued throughout the entire season. 

Carman Pirie: I don’t want to get too far past that three days of review bit without diving into it a bit, because the thing… I guess where I’m going with that is as you were telling the story, and I was trying to think in my mind about okay, well, when you did that with CNN, that partnership in the previous gig, there’s a level of production quality that one might expect there, rigor. It’s going to air eventually on CNN. It’s a different thing than we’re gonna put somebody in an RV and shoot 42 videos in 42 days, which sounds decidedly more raw and-

Jeff White: Bootstrappy. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, and not… Well, I’ll just say it. Not what you’d expect from a brand called GE. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, these were iPhone, like handheld videos. Everybody was unscripted and we loved the rawness of them. That was part of the signature of these. We didn’t edit out some of the just kind of awkward moments. We wanted to have that, and we even did some behind the scenes cuts where we showed just the challenges of filming in that way to really bring people along in that experience. But yeah, you’re right, because the CNN films are beautiful, but don’t quote me on this, because I’m just going on memory here, but I want to say it was like several months’ turnaround, right? 

Jeff White: Yeah, for sure. 

Kristin Fallon: For just one. So, these, and so that’s really what’s led us to our current storytelling strategy, which is be raw because in being raw, you’re actually being more authentic, and people relate to you more, and I think we’re in this beautiful age of storytelling. It’s the golden age right now for brand storytellers because I think people are hungry for that authenticity. They’re hungry for vulnerability. That rawness. And so, it actually resonates more for people when you do that route. 

Jeff White: For sure. And you know, from a technical perspective, you can get away with a little bit more. That’s not to say that the… You know, even though they were shot on iPhone, they’re still pretty polished. They’re well-crafted documentary-style video, so yeah, I think one of the videos I was watching, it looked like Mikey was actually the one doing some of the editing, as well, from the van. 

Kristin Fallon: Yes! 

Jeff White: Yeah. 

Kristin Fallon: He did. He did all the… So, the way we had it was… Oh, and by the way, how did we pull off three days? We had a very tight what we called war room, and we ended up… You know, Mikey’s ex-military, so we ended up using some of his terminology here, so the war room, it was very small. There were like four or five of us inside of it and everyone had a very specific role. There was no confusion on roles and responsibilities. There was really clear handoff. And then what Mikey would do is he would go out and film it and because he was most deeply embedded in the story and closest to it, he would do the first cutdown to get the footage down to like… You know, we were targeting three minutes. Sometimes they’d make it up to eight. But he’d get that done and then all we were doing was handing it over to a graphics team that would put slates and intro-outro on it, so… 

Because we did want, despite going on at length here that we wanted them to feel raw, we wanted them to feel legitimate, right? That these were legitimate assets coming out of our brand. And so, we really followed… We took our inspiration from the news, right? So, if we wanted to be the news, what would it look like to be the news? Well, the footage would be really raw and authentic, but there would be a polished craft to the finished product. 

Announcer: Are your digital marketing efforts bringing in too many junk leads? Stop wasting time and distracting your sales team. Account-based marketing can help give your marketing strategy the laser focus on the qualified buyers that you need to increase your pipeline velocity, close more deals, and grow your business faster. We’ve created a sample manufacturing ABM plan to help you get started. Download the sample manufacturing ABM plan at That’s

Jeff White: What were the kinds of things that you were dividing up amongst the four people in the war room? Like is one person responsible for ensuring that certain things weren’t said? I’m just really interested to kind of know what they were responsible for. 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. My agency partners hate when I tell you guys the truth in this because the truth is we hired Mikey as our “agency,” but he’s one man, and he was on camera talent, he was a filmmaker, he was doing a lot of the post-production, and he was literally physically driving himself from point to point because he was in that RV. Then we had everything else in-house, so this war room, we had one person running logistics, and she had never done logistics before. I think the selling point for me, though, was she told me that her grandparents had an RV, and I was like, “You’re perfect. Go book all of Mikey’s RV locations.” Because side note, that was incredibly challenging, because here you are, everything’s closing down. Well, so were RV campsites, so sometimes we’d have to dock him into the GE manufacturing sites, get him a water supply and an electrical supply. He had to shower at some of our sites. And so, she was dealing with all of that. There’s also, anyone who’s been in an RV knows this, you have to dump out your waste, so coordinating that. So, she was purely logistics. 

We had another person who we called our storytelling wrangler, so this is really important, actually. How did we find all 42 of these stories? That’s where we tapped into the ecosystem, the network, so as a global company, we’ve  got people all over the world, and so we have a global communications team in every region, in every product line, and so our storytelling wrangler would go out to that group of people, or maybe 50 of them, and they would pitch the stories to her, and then she would sort of figure out  the ones that we wanted to cover. She’d bring them back to the war room and we would discuss it, but we really had her coordinating all of that, and then once we identified the story, we did have a very compact brief template, and so that was given to whoever had pitched us the story, and they had to fill it out, and then we would go in, and this is where I would also be heavily involved, is myself and the story wrangler, we’d go in and really curate that brief so it was tight. Because by the time we had to send Mikey somewhere, he needed to know, and this is again a military analogy, like we were treating him like a sniper. He knew exactly what he had to go in and get and do in the amount of time that we needed them to do it in, so that brief had to be really tight. 

And I cannot speak enough about the virtues of templates, because if you’re gonna run a program at this scale, you really need to templatize as much as you can. 

The other folks we had on the team, they were doing things like legal reviews, coordinating post production, social media distribution. I mean, that was a whole thing in itself. And of course, social media monitoring, because we were, to the very end we were always scared. Are we gonna get any snarky comments? We ended up having like 98 or 99% positive sentiment, which is just unheard of. I mean, I think average is like 50 or something. 

Jeff White: Yeah. I think the idea of the template and the storytelling wrangler is a lesson for a lot of people, because I think many people think that the stories will just tell themselves if we just get in front of them with a camera and get somebody in there. You know, we’ve got a rough idea. We’re just gonna send somebody in and then we’ll cut it together later and try and tell a coherent story. But you know, if you don’t plan that, and if you’re trying to do this in a relatively rapid way without a lot of oversight required in order to get approvals to publish things, then you’re just not gonna get there without that planning process. I think that’s essential. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I think you hit on something there, Jeff. I think probably that level of tightness of brief would have powered the three days of review. 

Jeff White: Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: In some weird way. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Without it, there’s no way. 

Kristin Fallon: 100%. 

Jeff White: You’d be stuck in renewal or review queues. 

Carman Pirie: You don’t have 42 videos; you have 42 Bob Ross happy little accidents. 

Jeff White: Right. And that’s just not possible. 

Carman Pirie: And then it’s like, “Oh, here, senior leadership. Review this happy little accident and tell me what you think.” 

Jeff White: Yeah. It’s a recipe for disaster. You’ve progressed from… You know, you’re brought into GE Healthcare to bring this storytelling strategy to life. You’re now moving more into the brand side of things and how does the storytelling component inform how you’re approaching brand? 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. Well, it’s an interesting time for us because we are spinning off from GE. Who we ultimately become in name will not change the fact that we… Our culture, and our core, and our identity is so deeply tied with GE, but we are going through this exercise of reevaluating our purpose. The world has changed since we had last defined a purpose and I also think we’ve broadened the lens on being a purposeful company, you know? The rise of ESG is a great example of that. So, our storytelling has really, I think in a lot of ways, paved the way for us to have this conversation around purpose, because it was in telling all of these stories that it became so evident to us what matters to our employees and to our customers. And that’s why at the very beginning I said I was gonna come back to this, like we started out before COVID and before this 42 videos in 42 days, we had been down this journey of like, “Oh, what’s our storytelling strategy gonna be? It’s gonna be about what we want to tell.” 

And now what’s changed is our storytelling strategy is what people want to hear. Those aren’t always the same things. And I can certainly infuse my… Whatever people want to hear, I can infuse bits of business strategy into that for sure, but I have to start with the question of what people want to hear. And so, our brand, this storytelling that we’ve done, one of our brand values is courage. Another is empathy. And for sure, these stories uphold that, but I think the stories have kind of unlocked for us a really great discussion around what is our purpose. Is it transforming health? Is it transforming care? How does it all kind of bleed into the ESG space? So, I don’t really have a good answer except to say that we’re in the middle of asking this question, you know? 

Carman Pirie: It really seems as though taking the initiative to tell these stories exposed something new to the organization itself. I mean, these stories existed within the organization, but they weren’t collected. They weren’t-

Jeff White: Yeah. The act of telling them is transformative. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. And it sounds as though that’s driven in some ways a reevaluation, potentially a rearticulation of purpose at this critical brand moment for the organization, as well. That’s really interesting. 

Kristin Fallon: It really has. It really has. And what we’ve found is… So, this was our best performing brand campaign ever, and what started as 42 videos in 42 days later developed into a multi-series storytelling program. So, if you go to our website, you can see we’ve got four seasons of this where we sent Mikey out to different parts of the world. So, after being in the U.S., a couple months later we sent him to Europe. We were exploring what was happening there. We then sent him to India and then we actually ended up sending him to Silicon Valley. And we did, we saw that this was really resonating with people, and it forced us also to kind of think a little bit more deeply about how we could continue down this journey of… The program started during COVID, and the premise was kind of like, “Okay, we see a different narrative than the one that the media is telling, and we believe it needs to be told, and we have the brand recognition, and the podium, and two million followers. We have a way to do that.” And so, we did that. 

And so, then we kept telling that story, and so this year we got back together, and we said, “What’s the next evolution of this?” And kind of tied to purpose, how can we help the medical community be… Is it illuminating certain crises or challenges? Is it connecting people? And where we’re netting out. And we just released this film last week, it’s called The Cut. It’s a long-form film. It’s still with Mikey, still in a similar style to what our viewers are used to, but this time going more deep on a single topic and a single character or couple of characters. So, it’s a film about Derrick Six, who has peripheral artery disease, and this is really interesting. I didn’t know this before this film, but there are more diabetics globally than there are people in the U.S. It’s just a huge problem globally. And of the diabetic community, I’m gonna butcher this data point but it’s on our page, a very high volume of people are at risk of amputation. 

And there’s actually a way to prevent amputation, and so this story is of Derrick, and actually how his wife was like, “I’m not gonna let them cut your leg off.” And she found a doctor who could do a very simple surgery, actually, and save his leg, and what we’ve come to see through this film is actually there’s this surgical technique that’s not widely known by a lot of doctors, but that’s actually very simple and completely accessible to a lot of people if they know about it. So, we’re using our storytelling platform to illuminate what I would call great crises in health, and healthcare, and create dialogue around them. 

So, we held a Twitter Spaces event earlier this week and we had someone from the American Diabetic Association. We had one of our surgeons. We had one of our own technology GMs. And then we had the head of a really inspiring nonprofit all on to talk about this. And it generated such interesting dialogue and we actually had somebody in the Q&A say she’s facing into this, and she related, and we’re finding that this dialogue is actually saving people’s limbs. So, what is… If I come back to like what is our purpose and what is our opportunity with storytelling, I think we are seeing that we have a way to create dialogue and improve people’s lives, hopefully. 

Carman Pirie: That’s a fascinating I guess kind of evolution of that storytelling approach and kind of getting a little bit more… It’s kind of weird to think about disease categories as niches, but if you’ll bear with me for a moment, the one thing that we had when this started with COVID is a global event coalescing attention around one thing. 

Jeff White: Common connectivity. 

Carman Pirie: Right, and Kristin mentioned, part of this starts with knowing what people want to hear. Well, the number of people that want to talk about COVID right now would be much less, right? 

Kristin Fallon: Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: And you know, that could be a couple of podcasts on its own, but in this instance you’re saying, “Okay, well, what’s the other kind of conversations that we can start with groups that have obviously a very shared bond,” and that’s fascinating to me. And answered a question I was gonna ask. It’s like, “Where do we go after COVID with this,” but that’s just amazing. 

Jeff White: Yeah. And the potential impact beyond just your industry is so interesting, to think that you can form a marketing strategy around that-

Carman Pirie: You mean to tell me that you’re gonna get all excited now about saving limbs rather than just the marketing data, Jeff? I mean, you’re gonna all of a sudden turn human on us? Is that it? 

Jeff White: It would normally be me asking that question, but… 

Kristin Fallon: You’re hitting it on the head, though. I think we are gonna try to create dialogue here. And you know, look. The example I use is obviously very unique to our industry, but I think that… I do think that manufacturers, other manufacturers could run a play like this, right? What is important to your audience? And I do firmly believe that people want more than anything a sense of community right now. And I think before COVID, we saw these higher rates of isolation, and a lot of that was driven by obsession with devices, and blah, blah, blah. Then COVID hits and now we are literally isolated, and even though we get on camera with each other during work, we’re not feeling a sense of connection. And connection comes through community, so you know, part of what I want to achieve, certainly not in my business brief, but for me personally is like can I just create a little bit of community in the world? Could that maybe bring some lightness into people’s lives? I would love that. 

Jeff White: What a perfect place to leave this. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I’m really curious about that, because of course, part of that requires, or doesn’t require, but you kind of hinted at it about it being more of a physical, in the same location, versus simply connecting virtually. So, do you see the program going down the path of trying to do more of that? Foster more in-person connection in some way through the storytelling? 

Kristin Fallon: I don’t think we will. It’s interesting. I actually think we’re gonna go in the other direction, which is create connection or create community at a bigger scale, because like if I think about… It’s so funny. I’m just back from this retreat with a bunch of CMOs in Panama, and I’m gonna digress here, but we went on this retreat to ask the question of how can we basically… The whole idea was like you can’t fix your company or your team until you fix yourself. And so, bring a bunch of people, similar career situations, bring them together, put them in a completely remote environment, and work on them with this wonderful consultant. 

And what I took away, actually, was like the physical isolation has definitely been just so challenging for all of us, right? But while I absolutely think we need to get back and be in real life more, for sure, nothing replaces that, I also think there is opportunity to create more meaningful connection virtually, and I think you do that, and that meaningful connection I do believe comes through a sense of community. And so, how do you create that? I think it is sharing vulnerabilities, being compassionate with each other, helping each other, and so I would love to see, like to your point, these disease pathways that we’re gonna target. Diabetes being the first, but we’re gonna hit others. Can someone in the U.S. relate to someone in Africa? Two people experiencing diabetes who probably are actually experiencing very similar things despite the fact that everything else about them is different, right? 

So, here we are in a world where there is arguably much to divide us, but our desire to be healthy unites us. There’s something there. I don’t know, but that’s what I’m gonna pursue in this storytelling. 

Carman Pirie: I love it. I love it. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Me too. 

Carman Pirie: I look forward to seeing where it goes. 

Jeff White: And I can’t wait to record the next episode in 12 to 18 months-

Carman Pirie: Exactly. 

Jeff White: … to find out how far you’ve taken it since here, because-

Carman Pirie: We rename it the Kristin Ring at that point. 

Jeff White: Yeah, I think so. 

Carman Pirie: And then every episode is about-

Jeff White: Just let you take over. I mean, you’ve got the technical chops, clearly. 

Carman Pirie: Exactly. We’ll be fired and Mikey Kay will be in these seats. We gotta watch it. 

Kristin Fallon: I’ll bring him next time, how about that?

Jeff White: That would be great. That would be great. Thanks so much for joining us, Kristin. It was a wonderful conversation. 

Kristin Fallon: Thanks for having me, guys. 

Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Kula Ring, with Carman Pirie and Jeff White. Don’t miss a single manufacturing marketing insight. Subscribe now at That’s

Read Full Transcript


Kristin Fallon

Vice President of Brand & Digital Marketing at GE Healthcare

Kristin Thompson Fallon is a marketing and communications executive with global experience leading growth and transformation initiatives for innovative technology companies ranging from start-ups to GE, and international development organizations ranging from NGOs to the World Bank. Kristin is currently Vice President of Brand & Digital Marketing at GE Healthcare ($18B), where she leads an award-winning team and is responsible for the company’s brand positioning and content, external channels, and martech. Her passion is connecting ideas, people, organizations, and ecosystems to drive impactful initiatives that help/celebrate/sustain people and the planet. She is on the Board of Directors at the University of Maryland’s Center for Social Value Creation and a founding member of Chief. Kristin began her career as a volunteer in the US Peace Corps and brings that same sense of purpose and adventure to her work today.

The Kula Ring is a podcast for manufacturing marketers who care about evolving their strategy to gain a competitive edge.

Listen to conversations with North America’s top manufacturing marketing executives and get actionable advice for success in a rapidly transforming industry.

About Kula

Kula Partners is an agency that specializes in maximizing revenue potential for B2B manufacturers.

Our clients sell within complex, technical environments and we help them take a more targeted, account-focused approach to drive revenue growth within niche markets.


You are using an outdated browser. Things may not appear as intended. We recommend updating your browser to the latest version.