Previously a consultant at Euro RSCG Riley Strategic Consulting Group, Higgins is overseeing a press team of four.
He will also oversee a yet-to-join marketing manager - South Tyneside College head of marketing Hannah Davies takes up the newly created role in March.
Higgins said: ‘My main focus is scoping this role and setting our priorities for the next one to three years.'
He added that a priority for the force is strengthening community relations, which it wants to achieve via greater investment in communications.
Higgins was previously Newcastle College director of marketing. In his existing role, he reports to the force's deputy chief constable - a role that is currently vacant. It is being filled on an interim basis by a member of the strategic management team, Higgins said.
North Yorkshire Police force is responsible for 24 police stations and 1,560 officers.