The campaign against independence "doesn't need to be shining lights and setting off rockets", according to the former leader of the Conservatives.
Annabel Goldie said the Better Together movement would instead work towards the 2014 referendum with phases of activity.
Speaking to the website Scots Politics, she said: "Alistair Darling was careful to say ... we wouldn't be jumping up and down every five minutes because actually the whole debate is a long journey because that's Alex Salmond's choice, he wants to wait until 2014 so there is a lot of distance to travel so I think it's quite right that you phase the activity of the campaign."
"Look at the Better Together campaign as a continuum. It is there, it is active, it is doing things.
"It doesn't need to be shining lights and setting off rockets. In the meantime hundreds of people are contacting the website and getting information.
"As you campaign, that in itself generates interest."
Ms Goldie, who stood down as leader of the Tories following the 2011 Holyrood elections, said people were in "a slight no-man's land" until the terms of the ballot are agreed by the Scottish and UK governments.
"Until there is clarity around the question and the timing, until that process is done and dusted and out the road, that is serving as a distraction," she said.
The MSP also used the interview to criticise SNP leader Mr Salmond, who she said many people identified him as the face of independence, and pointed to recent opinion polls and surveys, which show support for independence hovering at around 30%.
"Even with that formidable charisma and political acumen, both of which (Alex Salmond) possesses, he is not winning the public's support. The opinion polls indicate that and the people I talk to confirm that," she said.