Dominic McKay joins Scottish Rugby Union from Whisky firm Chivas Brothers, where he was communications and public affairs manager until stepping down at the end of 2007.
In the new role, McKay will oversee a range of PR campaigns designed to raise the game's profile among Scots. He said he wanted 'more people watching and more people playing'.
McKay will also lobby the Scottish Executive in a bid to persuade decision-makers that the game can improve children's health and ease social exclusion.
The Scottish Rugby Union recently lobbied successfully to overturn arrangements banning the sale of alcohol at the national stadium, Murrayfield. It claimed the game was losing valuable revenue as a result of the ban, which was not implemented in England and Wales.
McKay said the ban would be fully lifted in time for the 2008 RBS Six Nations Championship.