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The Environmental Impact of PR Packages for Influencers

The rise of social media influencers has led to a unique marketing strategy: public relations (PR) packages. These gift sets, often filled with popular products or new releases from brands, are sent with the hopes of getting promoted on social media platforms. While seemingly harmless, the growing trend of PR packages has raised concerns about its environmental impact.

PR packages often contain an abundance of products, many of which may go unused. Influencers are sent so much that sometimes most of their products expire before they can be used. This surplus can also lead to overconsumption, and although some influencers donate or sell what they receive, many products still go to waste.

The packaging of PR packages themselves is another environmental concern. Traditionally, they are made using non-biodegradable materials like plastic, styrofoam and bubble wrap. This discards a significant amount of plastic into landfills, taking hundreds of years to decompose.

Influencers often face pressure to promote every item they receive, regardless of personal preference. This can incentivize the creation of excessive content, potentially leading to inauthentic marketing and increased consumption among viewers.

The true environmental cost of PR packages remains a topic of debate. Some argue that the exposure gained through them outweighs the environmental impact - it is a way for brands, especially small businesses, to market their products on large platforms. 61% of customers say they trust social media influencers to recommend products, demonstrating the impact of exposure on social media. Given the widespread use of social media and the reach of influencers, just one viral video is enough to keep a brand in business.

Some people, who recognize both the environmental and business impacts of PR packages, advocate for stricter regulations on packaging materials and a shift towards more sustainable practices within the influencer marketing industry.

As the influencer marketing industry evolves, so will the balance between effective marketing and environmental responsibility.

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