Public-relations guru Stuart Rosenberg is known for representing elite clients such as Hotel ICON and CityCentre in Houston, and the Victory Park entertainment district in Dallas.
But the 51-year-old prince of PR almost didn’t go into the marketing business.
“It was somewhat of a fluke,” he says. “I went to UT with the goal of becoming an architect, but I ended up graduating with a degree in advertising, which I was drawn to given its mix of creative and business aspects. My first job in Houston after graduation was with Beth Wolff Realtors, where my responsibilities included copywriting, brochure development, and ad design. Simultaneously, Beth allowed me to pursue an internship at the then-fledgling PR firm Pierpoint Communications.
“While I really enjoyed living in Houston post-college, I was ready to experience new things, and a childhood friend in New York who was newly working in PR invited me to use her apartment for the summer. She thought I would also love working in New York City. I was very fortunate that a family friend—Houston-based home builder (and former lifestyle journalist) Carol Isaak Barden—made an agency recommendation. It was my first and best interview, and I officially started my career in public relations about two weeks later with Middleton & Gendron, a top boutique firm focusing in the travel, hospitality, and luxury-goods space.”
For the Johannesburg, South Africa, native whose family moved to Houston when he was five, Manhattan became his home for close to a decade. Then in 2002, he headed back home to start Studio Communications with his friend Gail Rubin. One of their first hires was Rosenberg’s friend Mark Sullivan, whom he had met in New York. After four years, Sullivan, with Rosenberg’s blessing, started his own firm, On the Mark Communications.
“With a similar portfolio of clients and an increasing frequency of both of us being finalists for the same pieces of business,” Rosenberg explains, “we ultimately decided that we would better serve our clients and lay the groundwork for more substantial growth by merging the two firms. Public Content, an integrated agency encompassing facets including media relations, community engagement, social media, and creative services, was born in late 2018.”
Since then, Public Content has become a dominant player in Texas. “Having Hotel ICON as one of our first clients was really pivotal in our growth,” he says. “It was an opportunity for us to bring our national media contacts to Houston, many of them visiting the city for the first time.”
But Rosenberg’s life isn’t all about public relations. In July of 2022, he married Jose Ocque in a Harris County courthouse ceremony officiated by Judge Beau Miller.
“I met Jose, who was born in Venezuela and is a Realtor and home builder, through friends at a group dinner,” Rosenberg recalls. “Before we even spoke, there was an immediate spark. We packed a lot into that evening, including hours and hours of talking and a very fun time dancing at Barbarella. I knew almost immediately that something really special had happened. And it didn’t take much more than a week for us to become pretty much inseparable.
“After we were stranded in Peru during my 49th-birthday trip, unable to leave our hotel for weeks, we knew we could get through anything together. I proposed just before my 50th birthday, and we were married on July 7, 2022, exactly four years after first meeting. He’s changed my life, and I can’t imagine being without him.”
The couple reside in River Oaks with their goldendoodle, Lucas, in a home that Ocque designed and built.
“We moved in this past winter and love the area, given the easy access we have by bike or car to some of our favorite neighborhoods like Montrose and the Heights,” says Rosenberg. “We enjoy playing tennis, and have recently picked up pickleball. We rarely say no to a game night. Travel is important for both of us, not only to get away and recharge, but also to reconnect with friends, explore, and discover.”