Founded on February 17, 1993, Homestead Communications is focused on providing the highest quality public relations and association management services to it clients. Throughout the two decades, the firm’s owner and founder, Diane Slaughter, CAE, APR, Fellow PRSA, has focused on developing long-term relationships with clients, guiding them through changes in their industry landscapes and providing stable organizational leadership across association administrations.
A career of solid, successful experience in public relations and association management forms the foundation for the unique capabilities Homestead Communications brings to each client.
Living and working in West Virginia, our communication technology, convenient air transportation and proximity to the vast majority of the nation’s population make this a good place to do business and a great place to live. Our diversity of experience benefits clients who value the talents and skills we bring to their work. We feel sure you will value them, too.
About our owner:
Following her graduation from Marshall University in 1979, Slaughter became Assistant Advertising Director at The Diamond Department Story in Charleston West Virginia. When the store was sold in 1983, she began her public relations and association management career with the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. A decade later, she took the opportunity to open her own firm, Homestead Communications. This transition allowed her to serve a short stint as an adjunct faculty member at West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University), in addition to growing Homestead Communications into a national firm.
• April 2015 dedication of Diane Slaughter Public Relations Research Laboratory at West Virginia State University.
• Earned CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation in January 2002 by successfully passing comprehensive written examination.
• Elected to Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows in August 2006 in official recognition as role model because of exceptional contributions to advancement of public relations profession.
• Earned APR (Accredited in Public Relations) designation in July 1989 by successfully passing comprehensive written and oral examination.
• Named 2005 Outstanding Executive Director of the Year by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
• Named 1997 Practitioner of the Year by the West Virginia Chapter, Public Relations Society of America.
• Earned over 40 national, regional and state awards for work in public relations.
• Member, board of directors, Sissonville Branch of Kanawha County Public Library, 2009-present. Board Secretary, 2010-2014; Board President 2014-2017; Board Treasurer 2017-present.
• Member, board of directors, YWCA of Charleston, 1994-2000. Executive committee, 1994-1998.
• Member, board of directors, Marshall University Alumni Association, 1984-1990.
FROM THE JANUARY 24, 2000 ISSUE OF THE STATE JOURNAL
BY KEITH ARNOLD
One might get the feeling Diane Slaughter, APR, CAE, is one association leader who likes her alphabet soup — a lot of it.
She is executive director of WVSAE (West Virginia Society of Association Executives), PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) – West Virginia Chapter and WVAO (West Virginia Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Inc.).
And all of this takes place out of her modest, two-story home perched atop a knoll overlooking Interstate 77. She operates under the name of Homestead Communications.
As soon as you enter the Homestead complex, you are greeted immediately by Slaughter’s director of security, BJ, and director of personnel, Peabody.
Watch out for Peabody, a Corgi/Labrador mix, though, Slaughter warned; you’ll be licked until you’re soaking wet. BJ, a Newfoundland/Chow mix, is a little more reserved.
“I’ve gotten spoiled, having the dogs here,” she said, watching them from the deck attached to one end of the house. “I can sit out on the porch or on the deck and do my work, as long as I have the phone nearby.”
However, Slaughter makes sure not to let the niceties of home get in the way of her job(s). She’s constantly on the telephone with association presidents or other clients, working on projects.
“I’ve never worked so hard in my life.” But the self-proclaimed perfectionist said she wouldn’t trade her current situation for anything in the world. “I have the joy of working with people and a variety of organizations and causes that I respect very much,” she said. “I can pick and choose who I’ll work with.”
With a background in journalism and public relations, the Marshall University graduate got her start in retail advertising at The Diamond Department Store in Charleston.
“When The Diamond closed, we were the first department they laid off,” she said. As she left the store, she was met by a barrage of television news reporters inquiring about the closure. “The second question I was asked was ‘what was I going to do (after losing my job)?’ and I told the reporter, ‘I’m going to go apply for your job.’” Slaughter jokes to this day she doesn’t understand why that comment didn’t make it on the six o’clock news.
Following the layoff, she went to work for the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants for about 10 years. And in February 1993, Slaughter said the opportunity to start her own agency and operate full-time came about. “And I haven’t looked back,” she said.
No reason to, because Slaughter has enjoyed what she’s done since then. “I have fun,” she said. “Yeah, I gripe. I complain. But I can’t imagine doing anything else.” In addition to her regular clients and the three associations, Slaughter has allowed herself to work two pro bono accounts a year. Most recently she has worked with the Charleston YWCA and the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department. “That gives me the opportunity to work for causes I believe in,” she said.
In her work with the executive committee of the YWCA, Slaughter said it has been a “learning experience, a growing experience.” Additionally, she has met some very dynamic women. “The work of the (organization) is so important to the community and to the families and children of the community,” Slaughter said.
As for the fire department, she said the volunteers working on the force are some of the greatest unsung heroes around. “They don’t get paid,” she said. “They have the same level of training that paid firefighters must have. They have day jobs. And most of those guys can’t remember the last time they spent a holiday or a birthday with their family.
“I’m blessed to work with so many wonderful people.”
When Slaughter isn’t working, she said she enjoys “playing” in the garden. “And I love to make things,” she said. The artisan in her comes from her mother’s side of the family, Slaughter said. “I come from a family of talented and creative women,” she said. “And you feel an obligation not to give those (skills) up.”
In the next few years to come, Slaughter hopes to continue the success of her business. “I want to keep doing this,” she said. “I would perhaps like to expand the agency a little further into areas of the Web and technology, which is where it’s going. Not to replace the way business is done now, but to supplement and complement.”