A study from the Center for Public Integrity looked at associations with a lobbying budget of $1 million or higher since 2012. They found those organizations are spending more on PR and marketing than they are on lobbying.
Of $3.4 billion in contracts reported by the 144 trade groups from 2008 through 2012, more than $1.2 billion, or 37 percent, went toward advertising, public relations and marketing services, more than any other category. The second-highest total, $682.2 million, or 20 percent of the total, was directed toward legal, lobbying and government affairs.
The American Petroleum Institute paid more than $7 million for federal official lobbying in 2012, but spent $85.5 million on PR and advertising. The trend to spend large amounts changing public perception is common with other organizations as well.