Researchers and universities are increasingly urged to communicate their findings to the general public. Despite the broad consensus about the necessity of this task, researchers are still reluctant to engage in public outreach activities. One major reason is that while being somewhat time consuming, engagement in public outreach is not adequately reflected in the metrics that are relevant for career advancement. The study at hand examines to what extent this dilemma is empirically justified. A series of statistical analyses are carried out on the basis of data from a sustainability science research center in Switzerland. The study comes to the conclusion that research performance is overall positively associated to engagement in public outreach activities. This insight has implications for the academic incentive and evaluation system.