The move comes as part of a restructure - the separate departments of marketing (12 staff) and new media (four staff) will now operate alongside the PA team under Austin. She continues to report to chief executive Sean Tompkins.
Her remit also spans research, economic analysis, public policy and corporate communications.
Austin said one of the main communications challenges for the institute was the need to change misconceptions of the body's remit.
‘As well as being a professional body the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has a wider responsibility for the public interest because it regulates the profession,' she added. ‘Consequently, our members do not always agree with our decisions.'
The institute has the authority to discipline and expel chartered surveyors from the profession if they break its rules of good practice, Austin said.
The former director of communications at the Cabinet Office was brought in two years ago to set up the institute's PA team.