Some people adopt an animal and call it a day. That wasn’t enough for Victoria Hampton, a mission-driven communicator.
After almost four years away, we’re thrilled to welcome Victoria back to Pioneer as an associate editor for utilities in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California and Arizona.
Her expanded skill set in digital communications and public relations complement her history of solid storytelling inside Ruralite magazine. Victoria will focus on helping utility communicators manage local page content, writing energy-efficiency stories and crafting easy-to-customize content for the new Pioneer Studio platform.
We asked Victoria to share how her experience in animal welfare communications sharpened her storytelling skills.
“Quality communication takes a great deal of understanding, empathy and cooperation,” Victoria shares, noting experiences with dog flu, coordinated activist attacks and wildfire animal evacuation. “During my time in animal welfare, it was crucial that my communications team had a strong grasp on every aspect of our operations. This made us stronger communicators and better prepared to serve our community.”
Engaging the community and battling disinformation was a daily challenge, something many utility communicators know all too well.
“If someone is coming to you for answers — whether they are angry, happy, misinformed or maybe a little “‘trolly”’ — your job is to be the voice of your organization. The goal isn’t to change anyone’s mind, but to present accurate answers that treat each person with understanding and empathy,” Victoria shares. “As communicators, it is our duty to do our best to serve our community in their time of need. Is it easy? No.”
“Having an emotional support human for rough public relations days can be your savior. My door’s always open.”
A passion for storytelling drew her back to Pioneer.
“This year was a great time for reflection,” Victoria says. “Whether we liked it or not, the world hit the pause button and gave us a chance to ask ourselves, ‘Where do I go from here?’ For me, that was realizing there was something missing in my life: storytelling. Interviewing people about their passions and being able to share their story with the world is such an honor. It makes me feel like I am part of something bigger.”
Victoria began freelance writing for Ruralite magazine in 2020, then applied to join the editorial team full time in 2021.
“It has been exciting to connect with familiar faces and meet new employees at utilities I’ve worked with in the past,” Victoria shares. “The electric utility world has some of the most supportive, kind people I’ve ever met. I am so happy to be back.”
Raised in Western Montana, Victoria grew up as a cooperative member receiving the Northern Lights Inc. edition of Ruralite magazine. She moved to Oregon to study journalism and creative writing at Pacific University. Victoria started her career at Pioneer as an intern in 2014, which led to a full-time position. Before returning to Pioneer as an associate editor, Victoria worked in animal welfare communications for the Oregon Humane Society for close to four years, handling crisis communications, social media and website management, public relations, and donation and event software administration.
Victoria enjoys hiking mountain trails, trying the flavors of the month at Salt & Straw (a gourmet ice cream shop), perusing the fantasy section at Powell’s Books and working on her blog, Portland Living on the Cheap. An animal lover, Victoria has two bunnies and volunteers at Sound Equine Options, helping neglected, abused and unwanted horses.
Please join us in welcoming Victoria back to the Pioneer family!