Article by Molly Burke, RMS Research Analyst –


A regional non-profit organization recently partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct primary market research about community awareness and understanding regarding issues related to Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses prevalent within the region. The client wanted to gain insight on how they could improve upon their programming to better serve their community. This was achieved by collaboratively developing a survey instrument that was administered directly to community members in the tri-county region that the non-profit served. The survey was conducted online and was sent to targeted RMS panel members residing in the non-profit’s service area.


The main objective of this market research study was to gain further information about the community’s understanding and awareness surrounding the non-profit organization’s mission. Based on the survey results, the client developed strategies to continue to spread awareness surrounding their mission by improving their outreach and engagement efforts throughout the tri-county region they serve.


RMS administered a 10-minute online survey to eligible, targeted participants on our ViewPoint Panel. The survey instrument was developed collaboratively with RMS staff and a designated client project team. It consisted of less than 30 questions of different types, including open-ended, single choice, Likert-scale, and multiple-choice questions.

The survey was sent directly to RMS panel members who qualified, as well as promoted through our social media outlets as well as the client’s. After the survey was “closed,” RMS analyzed the data using descriptive statistics and then reported the findings to the client in the aggregate which maintained confidentiality among the survey respondents.


The data analysis revealed that, overall, the community is well aware of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses in the region. The survey respondents are also knowledgeable on how to prevent tick-borne illnesses and what to do in case of a tick bite. However, community awareness of the nonprofit’s mission and services is relatively low. This data provided the organization with valuable information that allowed them to improve their community outreach and engagement efforts.

Additionally, the data was cross tabulated based on specific demographics of the survey respondents‘ household income level. The results from this analysis revealed that, on average, low-income families are less likely to take preventive actions against tick bites compared to higher-income families. Also, low-income families have less awareness on how to treat tick-borne illnesses when compared to higher-income families.


After RMS analyzed the results of this community engagement survey, the client was provided with a detailed report which outlined the analysis of each question and delivered key recommendations to help them achieve their stated goals. RMS provided these recommendations to encourage the client to leverage the data from this study and take action on items as appropriate to work towards improved community engagement and ultimately expand upon their mission and services. Furthermore, this survey provided several key insights for the client including the potential for future projects to delve deeper into the client’s outreach and engagement efforts.

Relational RMS Blogs:

Recruiting the Right Participants for Your Focus Groups: Best Practices
How to Design Your Next Feasibility Study
How to Overcome Common Barriers to Employee Satisfaction Surveys

About the Author – Molly Burke

Molly supports the design, administration, and analysis of RMS Research Analytics Division projects works to ensure that all reporting follows RMS guidelines for quality and leverages her industry knowledge to enhance recommendations, particularly for RMS healthcare clients.

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About RMS

Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is a full-service market research firm in Central New York. Formed in 2002, RMS helps organizations that are looking to know more about their customers and/or potential customers. They conduct surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, studies and analysis. Each project is customized and gets personal attention by the best in the business. RMS has a reputation for getting results and offers an independent means to conduct telephone, on-line and mail surveying, In-depth interviews, intercept interviews, and participant recruitment as well as focus group hosting through QualiSight, its onsite call center and focus group facility. Taking advantage of the region’s reputation for being a great market study barometer, RMS recruits and moderates for focus groups, community forums and town meetings.