Was The A-Team the ultimate PR team?
In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. Fugitives on the run, Los Angeles underground – it’s a tough prospect for any team to improve the public image of a public enemy. So, how did the A-Team manage to right the wrong? They turned do-gooding fugitives with an acute sense of social responsibility. Where the government can’t or won’t help, you can depend on Hannibal and his boys to step in, whether you’re a nun in distress, a terrified child escaping people-traffickers or a hardworking fisherman being extorted by a ruthless gang.
So how do the personalities and strengths of the characters come together to make The A-Team the ultimate PR team?
John ‘Hannibal’ Smith
A born leader, Hannibal has the controlled risk-taking so important in PR leadership. He leads by example and is always in the thick of the action. Hannibal relishes a challenge and ‘loves it when a plan comes together’. With Hannibal at the helm the plan always comes together. A strong but fair leader, Hannibal is nobody’s fool and sports the silver hair and endearing smile of a favourite uncle.
Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck – AKA ‘Face’
The silver-tongued networker of the team, Face is suave and confident with the ultimate interpersonal skills – although with the ladies interpersonal skills can sometimes become personal skills. A real asset but requires Hannibal’s man management skills to keep him on task.
B. A. Baracus
B. A. is a tough man with an unshakeable sense of right and wrong. When it comes to social responsibilities, B. A. has a big heart and he’s vital in fighting for the client and keeping the team clear on their objectives. His acute fear of flying makes long distance PR jobs difficult.
Howlin’ Mad Murdock
Murdock’s name would probably count against him at an interview, but he’d be a unique and valuable member of any PR team. With his expertise as the best chopper pilot around and his sensitivity to those around him, Murdoch could foresee issues before they arose and steer a PR campaign round all kinds of risks.
Compromised of characters with strengths and qualities that would suit any PR job, it’s little wonder The A-Team were so loved by all their clients and by all of us kids glued to our TV screens on Saturday afternoons.
Tom Walker is a Freelance Copywriter working with PR Week. He grew up watching The A-Team in the 1980s.