Get ready for the 2020 PRSA Renaissance Awards

A look at what’s changing this year

By: Robin Rectenwald

Planning for our biggest event of the year — PRSA Pittsburgh’s 2020 Renaissance Awards — has been in full swing. As the Renaissance Chair, I couldn’t wait to share what we’re changing this year.


You may have noticed that we’re promoting the Renaissance Awards early this year. The awards ceremony will still take place the last Thursday in January – January 30, 2020, but we’ve decided to open and close the call for entries before the holidays. Entries will open September 9, giving you plenty of time to submit your campaign, tactic or individual award before the holiday stress kicks in. The early bird deadline to submit an award entry is October 11 and the final deadline will be October 25.

Please note the timeframe of the work completed will remain the same. The work of the campaign or tactic should be completed between October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.


This year’s Renaissance Awards will take place at Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse – the new theater located in downtown Pittsburgh on Forbes Avenue (not to be confused with the old playhouse in Oakland). Based on feedback from previous years and to help keep the costs of tickets down, the Pittsburgh Playhouse offers a beautiful space to mingle, heavy hors d’oeuvres and two complimentary drinks. Street parking is free after 6 p.m. or there are plenty of spots available in the Market Square Garage (228 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222), less than two blocks away from the Playhouse.

What about the Renaissance After Party? Don’t worry, we got that covered as well. Join us this year at Wolfies Pub located less than 500 feet away from the Playhouse. We’ll be sure to remind you closer to our event in January! 


This year we have two ways for students to participate – the Student Campaign and the Bob O’Gara Student Scholarship.

We know how hard students work in their classes and on campus. That’s why we’ve decided to create a new entry just for college students to submit their campaigns. We’re excited to showcase their work at the 2020 Renaissance Awards. Students, this is a unique opportunity to share your talent and creativity in front of hundreds of companies. And employers, what better way than to recruit new talent!

The Bob O’Gara Student Scholarship honors an outstanding undergraduate student with a $2,000 scholarship. Bob O’Gara is an admired professor who recently retired from Point Park University. He has been a long-time supporter of PRSA Pittsburgh. We will continue our tradition of awarding a scholarship in his honor, which is open to all Pittsburgh-area students, even if you’re not a Point Park student.


This year’s awards ceremony will be very different from past years, but we think you’ll love the changes. This year, we have two goals – to maximize networking time with the best PR teams coming together to celebrate their work and to fully showcase each campaign and tactic. How will we do that?

More networking time

With doors to the playhouse opening at 4:45 p.m., guests will have ample amount of time to network (and eat) from 5 – 6:30 p.m. and after the awards until 10 p.m. with desserts and post-ceremony drinks. The awards ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m. in the PNC theater. Because it’s theater-style seating, we won’t have tables like we have in the past, but teams can still buy group tickets. More to come on event ticketing and prices.

Shorter ceremony format

This is a big change, but one that I’m most excited about. During the ceremony, we won’t present awards by going through each award category. Instead, we will highlight the campaign, share videos and photos of the campaign, and hand out all of the awards that entry received at once. This means that we will not repeat campaigns that are submitted for multiple award categories and teams will only come up once to retrieve their awards. Why? Because we want to give ample amount of time to showcase each campaign once without feeling rushed or enduring a long awards ceremony.

Focus on the visuals

We want this year’s awards ceremony to be visual, so we’re asking that teams submit videos and photos we can share. The same is true with the individual awards – we’d love to see videos of our individual honorees to get a full picture of where they work and hear more about them from their colleagues.


As you can see, we have some big changes in store for this year’s awards, so we wanted to make sure you knew about them before entries are due. We think this year’s event is going to be extra special, so we hope you will join us! If you have any questions about the entries or these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! If you want to reach out to me directly, feel free to email me at

Important Dates

September 9, 2019 – Call for Entries open

October 11, 2019 – Early bird deadline to submit entries

October 25, 2019 – Final deadline to submit entries

January 30, 2020 – 2020 Renaissance Awards Ceremony at the Pittsburgh Playhouse

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