I’m really lucky in that there’s a lot of respect and support for public engagement at Arizona State University. But even here, recognition depends on where you work and who you work with/for.
There’s still a massive need to legitimize public engagement as a core activity and responsibility within academia, and not just an add-on for less serious or able scientists (an attitude I still come across)
It really depends on the colleagues in question. A lot of younger faculty and fellow researchers are super supportive, and like to get involved, but I’ve met my fair share of stonewalled, more traditional scientists as well.
My current employers see a big value in scicomm and view it as part of my job. I do get recognized for jobs well done, but I think it is actually more awesome that I am supported in my interest in outreach with time and access to resources. This has not always been the case.
When I was in grad school, I was actually threatened with expulsion from the program if I didn’t give up my public engagement activities, as they worried they would distract me from my work. I’m much happier with the institutions I’m working with now, who see scicomm and outreach as an integral part of science. Your science means nothing if it isn’t communicated and well!