We came across this tidbit in PRWatch : In response to a $5 million RFP for PR, the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has asked the agency's Inspector General to investigate the request for proposals. PEER questions the "appropriateness of using funds for image enhancement that would otherwise be available for public health and environmental research", citing current laws that, "prohibit the use of tax dollars for publicity or propaganda purposes."
Clearly the PR folks at the EPA have a need to demonstrate their value to the folks at PEER. A decade ago we received an RFP from the EPA which was quite brilliant if somewhat of a challenge. They wanted to measure the effectiveness of a PR campaign around recycling motor oil. The measure of success wasn't column inches, or even messages communicated. The measure of success was: Did the campaign change enough people's minds about recycling and thus lessen the amount of oil contamination, thereby reducing the cost of clean up. They wanted to show that the cost of the campaign was less than the cost of cleaning up the oil that would have been dumped had the campaign not occurred. We ended up not responding to the RFP, but we've always been curious as to whether they implemented the measurement. Sounds like if they did, PEER never saw it.