The book that I would like to recommend is Made to Stick. Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die ... - it is about creating messages that will be remembered. It is build around a simple list:
these are the ingredients of an effective marketing message (and yeah the first letters do form an mnemotechnic acronym).
The message needs to be simple, so that the basics are easily understood and can be easily spread around. I think this will be well understood to programmers. It is not about dumbing it down - it is about finding the real core. It needs to be unexpected to catch peoples attention. To hold attention the book advices to use curiosity gaps. Next quality is concrete - this is about involving things the audience already knows well, tangible things and painting a mental image. Credibility comes from inside or from an outside authority, inside credibility comes from using vivid details, statistics but also can be gained by inviting the audience to test for themselves. Emotional is about speaking to emotions. Finally the best messages are stories - the power of story telling comes from the fact that that people reach the conclusions for themselves and they easily absorb them as their own.
Apparently this was tested by the ads business:
The final group was trained for two hours on how to use the six creative templates. Once again, the fifteen best ads were selected by the creative director and tested with consumers. Suddenly these novices sprouted creativity. Their ads were rated as 50 percent more creative and produced a 55 percent more positive attitude toward the products advertised. This is a stunning improvement for a two-hour investment in learning a few basic templates! It appears that there are indeed systematic ways to produce creative ideas.