Jake Shapiro points to (and writes the forward for) a new report of this title from the Center for Social Media at American University by Abbey Blake Levenshus. Here's the executive summary:
How are public radio stations taking advantage of social media tools to expand their base and enhance their service to their mission? Through a survey of U.S. public radio stations and case studies of four stations successfully using social media, this study provides a snapshot of the realities for U.S. public radio stations wanting to use social media to engage audiences. Results of a survey of 77 station staff, along with case studies of four stations’ social media projects, reveal ambivalence about social media. Station executives both seek to explore social media opportunities and also resist experiments, because of lack of knowledge, because of resource allocation, and because of institutional culture. Current experiments at early-adopter stations demonstrate that social media experiments do require resource reallocation and still lack persuasive and appropriate metrics but nonetheless have returned significant benefits to the stations, particularly in terms of serving the core mission of public broadcasting: contributing to a rich and participatory public culture. More methodical goal setting and appropriate metrics will permit stations to document both their successes and their challenges.